SEATTLE — Agri-Tech innovations are creating changes in agriculture all around the world. Agri-Tech initiatives not only benefit developed countries by being more profitable but also help developing countries reduce hunger and poverty. Grow Africa is one organization that is using agri-tech to help farmers become more efficient, while company Agri-Tech East is starting initiatives to help farmers around the world.
Agri-Tech can be technologies that are products, services or applications to improve yield, efficiency in growing and profitability of crops. Most agri-tech organizations combine research and technology inventions in order to create changes in agriculture that produce more progressive farms.
Grow Africa was established in 2011 by the African Union (The New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the World Economic Forum). Since 2011, Grow Africa has created a platform that is African-led and market-based, which has increased investment in African agriculture. This initiative is working towards not only reducing hunger by creating better farms but also increasing economic growth to reduce poverty as well.
Horticulture Working Group
One project by Grow Africa that is using agri-tech innovations is the Horticulture Working Group in Rwanda. Horticulture is the practice of cultivating management. In Rwanda, there is a need for exporters to form an association of trade in order to lower freight charges, gather more resources for programs to improve soil quality and have better processing land applications. These issues have less to do with the production of crops and more with the business side of agriculture.
Agri-Tech East is a company that collaborates with scientists, technologists, farmers and food processors to improve agricultural sustainability and productivity. Agri-Tech does this by helping farmers voice their priorities so that researchers and technologists understand the full scope of issues. Agri-Tech East also encourages new research and fosters new innovative business ideas.
Recently, Agri-Tech East hosted a competition called GROW, which encourages businesses to create a plan that will help farmers. Winners of this competition not only receive a cash prize but also get business support from Agri-Tech East to expand their idea. The plan that won this year was an invention called SoilSense, which maps moisture content in the soil. This invention can save farmers water and quickly find out which plants need water. This new invention can be used on any farm to promote more sustainable and waste-less practices.
Both Agri-Tech East and Grow Africa are using practices of agri-tech in order to create changes in agriculture. With new inventions like SoilSense or plans like the Horticulture Working Group in Rwanda, developing and developed countries benefit and reduce hunger and poverty around the world.
– Deanna Wetmore