Norway


Christopher Tang

Venture capital community is getting excited in investing in agriculture to modernize the agriculture sector – a US$ 7.8 trillion industry representing 10% of GDP.   By 2015, the venture capital invested over US$4.6 billion on different agriculture technologies including agriculture drones, online markets, online knowledge sharing platforms, etc.  

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In Kenya’s highlands, farmers grow tea, beans, mangos and bananas, but they find it hard to know when the harvest and send them to market.  Without any of coordination, farmers can end up waste their time and effort when too many farmers sell the same type of fruits in the same market. When this happens, they have to haul their fruits back to the farm to feed them to the animals.

Through a grant from the Gates Foundation, MasterCard Lab for Financial Inclusion launched 2KUZE in 2017.  2KUZE is a mobile platform that connects smallholder farmers, traders, buyers, and banks in East Africa.  Through this mobile app, farmers can use their mobile phones to check on the prevailing market for certain fruits in the market.  If they decide to sell their fruits at the prevailing , they can conduct the entire transactions of selling produce and receiving mobile payments without facing risks. 

Besides this mobile market platform 2KUZE, WeFarm, an agri- company based in the , has developed a peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform for farmers to exchange text messages about different farming techniques. Other agri- mobile platforms enable farmers to upload pictures of pests from their mobile phones so that other farmers can offer suggestions to control these pests.  With the support of these new agriculture technologies, farmers are improving their yield.  This way, farmers can grow more and sell more, when consumers have more affordable food to eat. 

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