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Blockchain technology and sustainable development in  Africa’s agriculture sector

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A critical factor to some of Africa’s biggest development goals lies in agriculture. This is is because to a large extent, Africa is still an agro-economy and the Agricultural sector is an engine of job creation. With about 60 percent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa allocated to farming. The Agriculture sector is also a driver of inclusive and sustainable development and by 2025 the sector is projected to add more jobs to the African economy. However, Africa’s agriculture sector is facing mounting challenges and the blockchain technology is being used to solve most of these problems.
While Agricultural production rate of the continent has increased, it still lags behind other regions. Considering the rise in population, Africa’s food system will be further strained by a population projection of 1.3 billion by 2050. This will cause a problem for food security which is a challenge as climate change also threatens the sector. Blockchain based agricultural firms such as Agrikore have began creating solutions that suit the African problem. Agrikore is a smart-contracting, digital payments marketplace system focused on providing information, product and a marketplace to stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Employing the blockchain technology to Africa’s agriculture will boost the sectors and create sustainable development. For instance, BitMari a blockchain startup has set up a platform to launch smart farm contract which will aid agricultural funding in the continent. The firm is developing an application that allows buyers to purchase farming contracts for agricultural projects in Zimbabwe. Thereby creating the needed fund for the sector. Also, in Ethiopia, cryptocurrency startup Cardano signed an MOU with the government to use its developers use its blockchain for the local agriculture industry. Cryptocurrency exchange, Paxful is not left out as the exchange poured bitcoins into the agricultural and educational sector of Rwanda. The blockchain technology is also helping farmers get loan as a crypto startup is  bringing cryptocurrencies to the agricultural space, providing 50,000 farmers with loans worth US$10mn. The project which is a collaboration between Block Commodities, Wala, Dala, and FinComEco will develop and operate a variety of platforms, projects and initiatives in the agricultural commodity markets Africa. On the other hand, Kenyan agri-tech startup, Twiga Foods partnered with IBM Research to provide microloans to about 220 food stall retailers across Kenya with the use of a blockchain-based financing system.
All these projects are focused on transforming the actor knowing just how important such a sector is to the economy of the continent. From solutions that can be accessed on the mobile phones to loans, to smart contracts and even down to tracking in the supply chain managements of agricultural products. The blockchain is making a head way in the continent and hopefully the effectiveness of the technology will encourage governments to adopt it.  


 

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