Digital Transformation in the Agricultural sector can disrupt economies and working methods

Feb 12, 2018

Microsoft’s 4Afrika Regional Director, Amrote Abdella shared on how Microsoft is supporting digitally enabled services in the agricultural industry.


A speaker at this years AFA Annual Learning event in Nairobi, Kenya. Discussing Agile tech development and the role of the internet in agricultural development. The event, AgriFin Accelerate Annual Learning event encourages dialogues, sharing and learning around challenges and opportunities in increasing digitally enabled services for smallholder farmers.

Digital transformation can free farmers from their fields,
and disrupt local economies and long-established working methods.

Amrote said, Digital Transformation can free farmers from their fields, disrupt local economies and long-established working methods. For farmers to embrace digital transformation, technology has to provide platforms for affordable access and for scalability.

Speaking on the role of the internet in driving agricultural development and smallholder farmer services. Amrote Abdella shared on the extent that technology is addressing the challenges facing smallholder farmers. Microsoft 4Afrika has supported various agricultural startups in its 5 years of existence. We develop skills for entrepreneurs, we empower start-Ups who build solutions by Africans for Africa and we provide affordable access to the internet, smart devices and cloud services.

Smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa manage 80% of all the farmland and contribute up to 90% of the region’s food supply. The majority of these smallholders are based in rural communities, where agriculture is the dominant source of livelihood. These farmers have assets but they cannot access the services and help they need to be profitable.

Microsoft 4Afrika has supported various agricultural start-ups

Using mobile and Microsoft cloud technology, Felix Musau developed AGIN to plug the infrastructural challenges that exist within the agricultural sector. AGIN with the support of Microsoft 4Afrika’s initiative has grown to serve over 140,000 farmers in Kenya and currently facilitates over $1.3 million per month in transactions including loans and insurance.

We also began working with N-Frnds. A start-up that aims to digitise entire ecosystems from healthcare to government and agriculture through cloud-based SaaS services. We worked with N-Frnds when they had a demo and a dream. We have since helped them grow to 15 million users across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Using Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365, N-Frnds enables organisations to improve engagement with their stakeholders and streamline processes across their supply chain.

The Agricultural sector stands to benefit from widespread affordable internet access, as technologies like the Internet of Things start to digitally transform Kenya’s biggest industry.