Will smart tech drive the future of food in Africa?

Africa’s food challenge is two-pronged. A population growing at astronomical speeds on one hand and a continent threatened by climate change on the other hand. In 2015 alone, the population of Africa grew by 30 million. It is estimated that by 2050, annual increases will exceed 42 million people per year and total population will have doubled to 2.4 billion. The Agricultural sector will have enormous challenges to feed its 2.4billion people, to survive; Africa must increase its food production by 70% by 2050.

Africa’s population growth coupled with Climate change will have a huge effect on food security on the continent. These challenges will come in three major areas; Food Demand, Yield Potential, Land availability and quality. 

Africa not only holds potential to feed itself and eliminate food insecurity but also to be a major player in the global food market. To address these issues and increase the quality and quantity of agricultural production, Africa will need to engage innovative technology to make farms more intelligent and connected through precision agriculture; using apps, bots, wireless monitoring and control system that provide valuable, actionable, real-time information regarding the condition of the soil and crops thereby affecting yield quality and quantity.

Reframed in a language that tech innovators, investors and enthusiast will better appreciate, we ask the following questions; “How can Africa increase its yield potential exponentially through algorithms and machine learning? How do we get Africa’s small holder farmers to embrace smart technology as a solution to lingering challenges?


TheNerve Africa and The Lagos Business School will seek to find answers to these pertinent questions as we together host a session on smart farms and the future of food in Africa at the Emergent Continent Innovation Conference scheduled for the 16th of November 2016 in Lagos, Nigeria.

In conversation will be the investors and innovators behind one of Africa’s prominent smart farming startup ZENVUS, a product from one of Africa’s leading electronics design firms Fasmicro.

Also expected on the panel are executives from the Olam Group. The international agri-business company with offices in over 70 countries of the world has been playing a pivotal role in smart agric innovation in Africa with the pioneering of OFIS (Olam Farmer Information Service). Olam’s OFIS works with thousands of smallholder farmers to collect, analyze and apply farmgate level data, resulting in more effective targeting of intervention. This has lead to increased traceability of food, cost saving and increasing both yields and revenue for farmers.

To participate in the session, please register here