Despite its promising prospects, agritech in Africa is yet to punch above the weight of sectors like fintech and eCommerce, neither does sector have bragging rights to startups the caliber and worth of Fawry or Jumia. At present, it remains a market yet in need of specific solutions to its real-world problems.
Where technology branches into agriculture, the supply chain is rightfully the grayest area. A complex network existing between farmers and consumers has historically been constrained by fragmented logistics, low-to-no visibility, limited market access, and a paucity of transparency.
Climate change makes the situation even more dire. Early-stage ventures, in response, are digging deeper to help mitigate the crisis’ effects not only on the supply chains but also on the agritech industry at large. With food production hampered and feeding costs soaring, there is no better time than present for agritechs to break the dam.
Niraj Varia is the [current] CEO of Kenya’s iProcure, a self-styled “agtech” that connects agricultural suppliers to local retailers. Before assuming the role in mid-2022, Niraj was a partner at London-based Novastar Ventures, which has invested in TradeDepot, BasiGo, Moniepoint, Turaco, SolarNow, mPharma, and iProcure--easily some of Africa’s fastest-growing tech firms.
Last August, iProcure, which was founded in 2014, raised USD 10.2 M in Series B to scale its presence in Kenya and Uganda and expand into another East African market. In early May, the agritech launched operations in Tanzania and partnered with Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA).