Africa’s agricultural sector, which employs about 70% of the population, has vast potential with many its countries having comparative advantages in agriculture. However although they are growing and represent vast opportunities, the agro-processing, agritech, and digital agriculture sectors, continue to be underdeveloped and under perform. Many countries remain food insecure, while local agriculture based manufacturing is uncompetitive. Meanwhile, African agriculture has the world’s lowest productivity and its small scale farmers, who contribute about 80% to food production are not fully integrated into efficient value chains and are often excluded in formal financial services systems. The fragmented food systems and value chains lead to 50% of post-harvest losses of food products. At the same time, domestic demand for ready-to consume food products is on the rise in many countries as urbanization take hold. Rapid technological change, the rise of supermarkets, rapid population growth and changing consumer wants are all working to transform the future of Africa’s food production systems.
SMEs have a huge potential role to play in unleashing the potential of African agriculture. They play critical roles in the sector as input suppliers, off-takers, processors, distributors, service provider, technology providers and even finance. Nevertheless startups and SMEs in the agriculture sector struggle to access critical risk and growth capital, advisory services and market access more so than startups and SMEs in non-agricultural sectors agriculture. AgDrive is response to help build thriving market driven, innovation based Agriculture sector in Africa which will feed the continent growing populations. The program is an innovation and investment ecosystem designed to help to address the market constraints hampering the innovation and scale up potential of African agrifood companies and innovators by crowding in capital and advisory resources to build innovative and pioneering startup and SMEs in the Agriculture across the continent.
The conclusion of the AgDrive Plus program is followed by a one week investment expo-Agdrive X which is focused on projects around investors and project promoter’s dialogue and transact to make investments.