How the Internet of things in Agriculture could impact the African economies

April 2, 2018

 

In recent years there is an increasing penetration of the internet of things (IoT) technology into the African continent. According to most estimations by 2050 the African population is expected to grow to 1.3 billion and agriculture is the largest sector in the African economies, based mainly on small farm holders; IoT solutions already help with the operation of small farms including by increasing their productivity, increasing their profits, and advancing civil and industrial cooperation.

According to the International Bank records published in 2018, four of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are African. In Kenya, for example, there is a great deal of technological development, and in 2017 July- September the internet penetration in Kenya rose 112% and the internet mobile use rose 90%.  These statistics are evidence of the rise and growing connectedness of African markets.     

An example of the IoT agriculture in Africa is the SAP Rural Sourcing Management, developed by SAP in 2009 and so far, piloted in 9 different African countries, including 100,000 small-scale producers growing cashews, shea, coffee, cocoa, rice and sesame. The SAP software helps the farmer monitor the farm operations, utilizing several mobile applications with a visual farm operation details.

In the future, we can expect to see more IoT solutions in the agriculture industry of African countries. As mentioned, the main advantages of IoT technology are that they can improve the understanding of stakeholders how to best allocate their resources in ways that will maximize their profits and their returns on time, energy, and money.

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