Cellulant’s Agrikore – an online marketplace (e-marketplace) solution creating value for smallholder farmers, agricultural input and produce traders has been featured extensively in the recently published State of Digitalisation of Agriculture in Africa 2019 report by CTA (the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation) and Dalberg Advisors.
Africa’s emerging Agritech market valued at €5.3 billion
According to the report, Africa’s agritech market netted an estimated $143-million — out of a total addressable market of $2.6-billion in 2018. Digitalisation for Agriculture is an emerging sector with an estimated total addressable market revenue of between €2.3 billion (mid-range estimate but with potential to go as high as €5.3 billion in 2019) and growing at 44% per annum.
There are 250 million smallholder farmers and pastoralists in Africa and although most African countries have prioritized agricultural transformation as a key pillar in their national strategy towards achieving food and nutrition security, most have fallen off track in meeting their commitments by the 2025 deadline, the report has found.
Cellulant among only 390 Agritech Solution Providers in Africa
The report identifies Cellulant as among only 390 active Digitalisation for Agriculture (D4Ag) solution providers that are working across the continent and have the potential to not only support agricultural transformation but also the ability to do so sustainably and inclusively. The report presents evidence on how, these enterprises have proven that digital tools can Improve market efficiency, transparency, aggregation and integration.
The comprehensive report was compiled following extensive research by Dalberg as well as stakeholder consultations with among others, Cellulant’s Co-founder & CEO, Bolaji Akinboro. It is the first of its kind to map out the solution landscape, to document a consolidated investigation on the role and impact of technology and innovation in the transformation of Agriculture in Africa and give an assessment on the current state of Digitalisation for Agriculture (D4Ag).
Agrikore’s use case of input and produce an online marketplace
Unlike many of the D4Ag solution providers studied in the report, Cellulant’s Agrikore solution was noted to be one of the few marketplace players that are focusing on digitizing at both the input and produce stages by linking all the players in agriculture at the input level (farmers, agro-dealers, financial institutions, governments, development partners ) and at produce level ( FMCGs, produce aggregators).
Marketplace solutions such as Agrikore have been featured as significant use cases of how digital tools are being built to tackle major challenges of attracting and retaining a significant number of buyers and sellers, and in thus doing, help to solve the problem of inefficient and fragmented agricultural markets.
Payments Powering Agriculture’s Online Marketplaces
The report also explores the hypothesis on bundling of several use cases by D4Ag solution providers noting that the bundling of digitally-enabled Agritech solutions was gaining popularity with some enterprises incorporating either the third party or proprietary payment solutions. The report cites the use of Cellulant’s Tingg payments platform which powers Agrikore, Mastercard’s network and the use of Agripay by Agrocenta for their Agro-trade e-marketplace.
Tingg is Cellulant’s marketplace payments platform which has become the new way for consumers across Africa to accessing various digital financial services especially the rural majority without access to formal banking services. Tingg powers payments for traders to grow their business through easy access to financial services, markets, and extra revenues.
The report notes that, out of the 390 active D4Ag solution providers, a majority are small startup entities with a small user base offering advisory services. Only a handful of 15 enterprises like Cellulant are starting to reach a much wider scale with aspirations to reach farmers across multiple markets with different use cases. Cellulant’s Agrikore emarketplace was piloted in Nigeria following the successful implementation of the GES project. It has since been deployed in Liberia, Afghanistan and is currently at advanced piloting stage in Kenya.
The Power of Blockchain Technology in Transforming Agriculture
In its exploration of the use cases for blockchain technology in optimizing for transparency, efficiency and safety, the report has hailed Agrikore as the most ambitious example of a blockchain-based D4Ag solution whose audacious goal is to register millions of agriculture value chain intermediaries at both input and produce level into a single transparent blockchain-based ecosystem enabling all to trade in a low cost trusted environment where all transactions are recorded in an undisputable system.
Future trends in the Agritech sector
The report concludes by listing some future-looking trends as collected from their sector survey. Among the trends of note are that we will move from a state of using observational data to use of real-time insights and predictive capabilities. Although the report predicts the entry of big tech players in the sector it notes that the best models will pair localized knowledge with big tech capabilities.
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