Farming has emerged as one of the business areas Africans in the diaspora are investing in. However, a number of structural challenges turn to hinder their continuous investment as they are often not present to oversee farming activities. In cases where they entrust their farms to relatives or family members, sometimes the yields are poor, which discourages them from farming.
A Ghanaian entrepreneur is seeking to address this challenge by connecting farming to technology. Desmond Koney has developed a new mobile application called ‘Complete Farmer’, which allows Ghanaians in the diaspora to own and run actual farms in Ghana remotely.
The app allows friends and families to form cooperatives to own farms across the continent. It also allows farmers who subscribe to become growers to get access to registered cultivation protocols.
What’s more, the startup enables precision agriculture for farmers on the platform through the use of satellite, IoT big data, and blockchain technology which collect crop insights that are used in optimizing crop growth, supply chains, and farm management, according to the Business and Financial Times.
Ultimately, the intention is to ensure that the product meets the market requirement. Also, the approach is to upend the farming sector and ensure that more growers farm commercially and produce enough to feed the global supply chains.
The app has a three-sided marketplace feature, enabling commodity buyers, food growers, and digifarmers to interact on a single platform to share best practices.
Through the single platform, commodity buyers from any part of the world can build supply chains into Africa without the intervention of middlemen. Also, buyers get full visibility into the process from cultivation to post-harvest, quality control, transportation, and logistics using blockchain traceability features – leaving them in no doubt as to progress, yield, and quality.
“With the rise of B2B e-commerce, expectations of B2B buyers are changing,” Koney said. “The rise of the Amazons, Ubers, Googles and the other big tech giants of this world are changing mindsets of commodity buyers – who now expect an easy comparison of suppliers, seamless online ordering processes and convenient deliveries, he said, adding that: “In an always-connected world where data is the new oil, commodity buyers also expect and deserve much more transparency in the production process.”
The ‘Complete Farmer’ app further tackles the issue of fragmented supply chain in Africa.