Agritech Africa https://agritech-africa.com Agritech Africa - Convention Sun, 19 Jan 2020 07:46:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 https://agritech-africa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SiteIcon.png Agritech Africa https://agritech-africa.com 32 32 Agricultural Technology Exhibition & Conference Coming to Cape Town https://agritech-africa.com/2020/01/19/agricultural-technology-exhibition-and-conference-coming-to-cape-town-agritech-africa-exhibition-and-conference/ Sun, 19 Jan 2020 07:38:55 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5959 From the 17th to the 19th of June 2020, Cape Town will play host to the Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals in the field of agriculture from […]

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From the 17th to the 19th of June 2020, Cape Town will play host to the Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals in the field of agriculture from around the world who will be exposed to the latest developments and technological innovations in agriculture that can address pressing issues such as climate change, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, job creation and food security.

The event is being brought to South Africa by Kenes Exhibitions – a market leader in conferencing, exhibitions and educational platforms which has been producing exhibitions and conferences around the globe in the agricultural, water technology, biomedical, and cyberspace arenas for the past decade.

“Agriculture provides a source of livelihood for 61% of the 337 million people living in the Southern African Development Community. It is also crucial for food security, which in turn assists in political stability and is central to the development of agro-industries,” says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Malawi. “However, the local industry is plagued by challenges like climate change, not being able to meet the standards of international markets, changes in consumption patterns and population growth driving increased demand for food. The way forward in overcoming these obstacles and unlocking the opportunities offered by agriculture is technology.”

“It was with this in mind that we decided to host an international agricultural technology exhibition and conference in South Africa – the country at the heart of the African renaissance,” shares Kenes Exhibitions Managing Director, Prema Zilberman.

Issues affecting the African agriculture industry, including the management of land and water resources, food security, as well as the development of an Innovation Ecosystem, will be explored in depth at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference by local and international experts, the names of whom will be revealed over the coming weeks.

Taking place alongside the conference will be an exhibition comprised of an anticipated 200 exhibitors who will showcase cutting edge technologies, products, and systems in the areas of aquaculture; fertilisers and chemicals; livestock and dairy farming; irrigation and water management; plant protection; rural development; poultry; agri-ecology; food security and safety; marketing; exporting and more. Exhibitors will range from start-ups with exciting new technologies, to existing companies with proven or breakthrough products.  Agritech Africa exhibition and conference serves the purpose of igniting and connecting professionals in the Agriculture field.

“Agritech Africa 2020 will provide a platform to take on pressing challenges faced within the agricultural sector and find solutions that will allow for sustainable economic growth,” concludes Zilberman.

For a sneak peek at what to expect, or more information, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gplRH2wGX_s

https://agritech-africa.com/

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How technology can improve agriculture in Africa https://agritech-africa.com/2019/11/03/how-technology-can-improve-agriculture-in-africa/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 10:19:51 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5788 Set to speak at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town in June next year, Dr Max Wengawenga, assistant chief economic advisor to the president of Malawi, says that Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector and technology in africa agriculture, that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its […]

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Set to speak at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town in June next year, Dr Max Wengawenga, assistant chief economic advisor to the president of Malawi, says that Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector and technology in africa agriculture, that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security.

He says technology has the potential to make a meaningful impact on food security. It is not a new concept, he says, as innovation and technology have been used to improve agricultural productivity over the years.

“However,” he says, “In Africa, my message to innovators would be that they should come up with more user-friendly and affordable technologies to increase food productivity, even among the resource-poor farmers.”  This is crucial for technology in africa agriculture

Food security has been a topic of heated debate in South Africa recently with the proposed constitutional amendment to expedite land reform. Food security is intricately tied to a healthy and strong agriculture sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is acutely aware of this, saying at the time of announcing the African National Congress’s intention to amend Section 25 of the constitution: “The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security.”

The chairperson of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Dr Vuyo Mahlathi called on the president in July this year, when handing over the recommendations of the panel, to expedite land reform in a way that will not compromise the country’s food security.

What is food security?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines food security as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

Closer to home, South Africa is still largely recognised as a food-secure country. Nonetheless, there are still many people who do not have access to sufficient food. Most of these people lack the financial means to access food, and so it becomes clear that besides being able to physically produce food, a country needs sufficient economic opportunities to help reduce the number of food insecure people. Food is a fundamental human right. South Africa’s unique situation highlights that dealing with food security very often goes beyond the actual production of food in technology in africa agriculture.

Regionally and globally, the pursuit of food security may require agricultural productivity-enhancing technologies; it may require mechanisms aimed at raising income levels for people to have the financial means access enough, quality food; and it may involve improving marketing systems that would enable regions with a food surplus to trade with counterparts in food-deficit areas. You may well find it to be a combination of these strategies.

Support

In order to take advantage of the opportunities the fourth industrial revolution presents for agriculture, there needs to be widespread dissemination for farmers to utilise new technologies and increase their productivity. All stakeholders have to work together in a co-ordinated approach, says Dr Wengawenga.

“Policy makers need to support the work of researchers; the extension workers need to take the message and innovation to the farmers. Media is also important to help with the dissemination process,” he says.

Technology has already had a marked impact on agricultural productivity. Whether it is advances in the internet of things and artificial intelligence, or the use of smart machines or cutting-edge science, innovation has already brought about higher-yielding cop varieties, smarter use of water resources and battle plans to deal with pest attacks.

These technologies need not be the exclusive domain of resource-strong farmers. “Subsistence and emerging farmers, for instance, like being involved in the development of new technologies that address their problems,” says Dr Wengawenga. “This allows scientists first-hand experience of real problems on the ground and not perceived challenges.”

Climate change

Extreme weather events such as prolonged droughts and flooding are made worse by a shift in rainfall patterns and regional climate changes.

As the climate shift has a negative effect on agriculture, families and communities that rely on farming for their livelihood are the first to feel the economic stress, explains Dr Wengawenga. This is one of the ways climate change pushes people deeper into poverty. This increases the risk of social unrest and political instability.

The link between land and food security speaks to the commitment by Ramaphosa to prioritise food security during the land reform process South Africa.

Explaining how technology can and should be implemented to help agriculture mitigate the effects of climate change, Dr Wengawenga says: “Water harvesting techniques and suitable irrigation systems are needed to withstand the devastation effects of droughts.

“Crop varieties also need to be aligned to the weather patterns – agricultural scientists have to come up with fast-maturing varieties for areas having shorter rainy seasons and drought-resistant varieties for the areas that are getting dry.”

Dr Wengawenga says that agritech holds immense possibility for Africa and the world. Agritech is broadly defined as the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture to improve yield and efficiency.

Agritech Africa 2020 aims to provide a platform for sharing knowledge on agritech with a focus on Africa. In order to support sustainable and long-term growth in agriculture on the continent, Agritech is set to recur annually and enhance technology in africa agriculture.

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Technology in agriculture enhancing food security in Africa https://agritech-africa.com/2019/11/03/technology-in-agriculture-enhancing-food-security-in-africa/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 10:15:32 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5785 Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of Malawi.  Technology in agriculture can emhance food security in Africa. Dr Wengawenga, who will be speaking […]

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Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of Malawi.  Technology in agriculture can emhance food security in Africa.

Dr Wengawenga, who will be speaking at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town in June next year, says technology has the potential to make a meaningful impact on food security.  It is not a new concept, he says, as innovation and technology have been used to improve agricultural productivity over the years.

“However,” he says, “In Africa, my message to innovators would be that they should come up with more user-friendly and affordable technologies to increase food productivity, even among the resource-poor farmers.”

Food security has been a topic of heated debate in South Africa recently with the proposed constitutional amendment to expedite land reform. Food security is intricately tied to a healthy and strong agriculture sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is acutely aware of this, saying at the time of announcing the African National Congress’s intention to amend Section 25 of the constitution: “The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security.”

The chairperson of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Dr Vuyo Mahlathi called on the president in July this year, when handing over the recommendations of the panel, to expedite land reform in a way that will not compromise the country’s food security.

What is food security?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines food security as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.  Thus, technology in agriculture is becoming a growing necessity.

Closer to home, South Africa is still largely recognised as a food-secure country. Nonetheless, there are still many people who do not have access to sufficient food. Most of these people lack the financial means to access food, and so it becomes clear that besides being able to physically produce food, a country needs sufficient economic opportunities to help reduce the number of food insecure people. Food is a fundamental human right. South Africa’s unique situation highlights that dealing with food security very often goes beyond the actual production of food.

Regionally and globally, the pursuit of food security may require agricultural productivity-enhancing technologies; it may require mechanisms aimed at raising income levels for people to have the financial means access enough, quality food; and it may involve improving marketing systems that would enable regions with a food surplus to trade with counterparts in food-deficit areas. You may well find it to be a combination of these strategies.

Support

In order to take advantage of the opportunities the fourth industrial revolution presents for agriculture, there needs to be widespread dissemination for farmers to utilise new technologies and increase their productivity. All stakeholders have to work together in a co-ordinated approach, says Dr Wengawenga.

“Policy makers need to support the work of researchers; the extension workers need to take the message and innovation to the farmers. Media is also important to help with the dissemination process,” he says.

Technology has already had a marked impact on agricultural productivity. Whether it is advances in the internet of things and artificial intelligence, or the use of smart machines or cutting-edge science, innovation has already brought about higher-yielding cop varieties, smarter use of water resources and battle plans to deal with pest attacks.

These technologies need not be the exclusive domain of resource-strong farmers. “Subsistence and emerging farmers, for instance, like being involved in the development of new technologies that address their problems,” says Dr Wengawenga. “This allows scientists first-hand experience of real problems on the ground and not perceived challenges.”

Climate change

Extreme weather events such as prolonged droughts and flooding are made worse by a shift in rainfall patterns and regional climate changes.

As the climate shift has a negative effect on agriculture, families and communities that rely on farming for their livelihood are the first to feel the economic stress, explains Dr Wengawenga. This is one of the ways climate change pushes people deeper into poverty. This increases the risk of social unrest and political instability.

The link between land and food security speaks to the commitment by Ramaphosa to prioritise food security during the land reform process South Africa.

Explaining how technology can and should be implemented to help agriculture mitigate the effects of climate change, Dr Wengawenga says: “Water harvesting techniques and suitable irrigation systems are needed to withstand the devastation effects of droughts.

“Crop varieties also need to be aligned to the weather patterns – agricultural scientists have to come up with fast-maturing varieties for areas having shorter rainy seasons and drought-resistant varieties for the areas that are getting dry,” says Dr Wengawenga.

Dr Wengawenga says that agritech holds immense possibility for Africa and the world. Agritech is broadly defined as the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture to improve yield and efficiency.

The post Technology in agriculture enhancing food security in Africa appeared first on Agritech Africa.

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Technology enhancing food security in agriculture https://agritech-africa.com/2019/10/16/technology-enhancing-food-security-in-agriculture/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 07:54:04 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5777 Technology can enhance food security in agriculture, in Africa Africa needs user-friendly and affordable innovations, says leading economic adviser Food security in agriculture : Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security in Africa, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant […]

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Technology can enhance food security in agriculture, in Africa

Africa needs user-friendly and affordable innovations, says leading economic adviser

Food security in agriculture : Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security in Africa, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of Malawi.

Dr Wengawenga, who will be speaking at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town in June next year, says technology has the potential to make a meaningful impact on food security.  It is not a new concept, he says, as innovation and technology have been used to improve agricultural productivity over the years.

“However,” he says, “In Africa, my message to innovators would be that they should come up with more user-friendly and affordable technologies to increase food productivity, even among the resource-poor farmers.”

Food security has been a topic of heated debate in South Africa recently with the proposed constitutional amendment to expedite land reform. Food security is intricately tied to a healthy and strong agriculture sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is acutely aware of this, saying at the time of announcing the African National Congress’s intention to amend Section 25 of the constitution: “The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security.”

The chairperson of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Dr Vuyo Mahlathi called on the president in July this year, when handing over the recommendations of the panel, to expedite land reform in a way that will not compromise the country’s food security.

What is food security?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines food security as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

Closer to home, South Africa is still largely recognised as a food-secure country. Nonetheless, there are still many people who do not have access to sufficient food. Most of these people lack the financial means to access food, and so it becomes clear that besides being able to physically produce food, a country needs sufficient economic opportunities to help reduce the number of food insecure people. Food is a fundamental human right. South Africa’s unique situation highlights that dealing with food security very often goes beyond the actual production of food.

Regionally and globally, the pursuit of food security may require agricultural productivity-enhancing technologies; it may require mechanisms aimed at raising income levels for people to have the financial means access enough, quality food; and it may involve improving marketing systems that would enable regions with a food surplus to trade with counterparts in food-deficit areas. You may well find it to be a combination of these strategies.

Support

In order to take advantage of the opportunities the fourth industrial revolution presents for agriculture, there needs to be widespread dissemination for farmers to utilise new technologies and increase their productivity. All stakeholders have to work together in a co-ordinated approach, says Dr Wengawenga.

“Policy makers need to support the work of researchers; the extension workers need to take the message and innovation to the farmers. Media is also important to help with the dissemination process,” he says.

Technology has already had a marked impact on agricultural productivity. Whether it is advances in the internet of things and artificial intelligence, or the use of smart machines or cutting-edge science, innovation has already brought about higher-yielding cop varieties, smarter use of water resources and battle plans to deal with pest attacks.

These technologies need not be the exclusive domain of resource-strong farmers. “Subsistence and emerging farmers, for instance, like being involved in the development of new technologies that address their problems,” says Dr Wengawenga. “This allows scientists first-hand experience of real problems on the ground and not perceived challenges.”

Climate change

Extreme weather events such as prolonged droughts and flooding are made worse by a shift in rainfall patterns and regional climate changes.

As the climate shift has a negative effect on agriculture, families and communities that rely on farming for their livelihood are the first to feel the economic stress, explains Dr Wengawenga. This is one of the ways climate change pushes people deeper into poverty. This increases the risk of social unrest and political instability.

The link between land and food security speaks to the commitment by Ramaphosa to prioritise food security during the land reform process South Africa.

Explaining how technology can and should be implemented to help agriculture mitigate the effects of climate change, Dr Wengawenga says: “Water harvesting techniques and suitable irrigation systems are needed to withstand the devastation effects of droughts.

“Crop varieties also need to be aligned to the weather patterns – agricultural scientists have to come up with fast-maturing varieties for areas having shorter rainy seasons and drought-resistant varieties for the areas that are getting dry,” says Dr Wengawenga.

Dr Wengawenga says that agritech holds immense possibility for Africa and the world. Agritech is broadly defined as the use of technology in agriculture, horticulture and aquaculture to improve yield and efficiency.

Agritech Africa 2020 will provide a platform for sharing knowledge on agritech with a focus on Africa.  In order to support sustainable and long-term growth in agriculture on the continent, Agritech is set to recur annually. To register or for more information visit www.agritech-africa.com.

The post Technology enhancing food security in agriculture appeared first on Agritech Africa.

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Technology can enhance food security in Africa https://agritech-africa.com/2019/10/10/technology-can-enhance-food-security-in-africa/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 12:26:10 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5772 Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of Malawi. Dr Wengawenga, who will be speaking at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town […]

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Africa needs more innovation in the agricultural sector that is both affordable and sustainable if it is to improve its levels of food security, says Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of the Republic of Malawi.

Dr Wengawenga, who will be speaking at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference in Cape Town in June next year, says technology has the potential to make a meaningful impact on food.  It is not a new concept, he says, as innovation and technology have been used to improve agricultural productivity over the years.

“However,” he says, “In Africa, my message to innovators would be that they should come up with more user-friendly and affordable technologies to increase food productivity, even among the resource-poor farmers.”

Food security has been a topic of heated debate in South Africa recently with the proposed constitutional amendment to expedite land reform. Food security is intricately tied to a healthy and strong agriculture sector.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is acutely aware of this, saying at the time of announcing the African National Congress’s intention to amend Section 25 of the constitution: “The intention of this proposed amendment is to promote redress, advance economic development, increase agricultural production and food security.”

The chairperson of the Presidential Expert Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture Dr Vuyo Mahlathi called on the president in July this year, when handing over the recommendations of the panel, to expedite land reform in a way that will not compromise the country’s food security.

What is food security?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) defines it as existing “when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life”.

Closer to home, South Africa is still largely recognised as a food-secure country.  Most of these people lack the financial means to access food, and so it becomes clear that besides being able to physically produce food, a country needs sufficient economic opportunities to help reduce the number of food insecure people. Food is a fundamental human right. South Africa’s unique situation highlights that dealing with food security very often goes beyond the actual production of food.

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Food Security and Eradication of Hunger https://agritech-africa.com/2019/08/26/food-security-and-eradication-of-hunger/ Mon, 26 Aug 2019 07:32:37 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5739 Food security and eradication of hunger is a global challenge, recognised by amongst others, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  Leaders of the world have agreed to work towards achieving goal #2, to eradicate hunger by 2030.  A number of targets have been identified with a view to achieving global food security. Achieving global food […]

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Food security and eradication of hunger is a global challenge, recognised by amongst others, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  Leaders of the world have agreed to work towards achieving goal #2, to eradicate hunger by 2030.  A number of targets have been identified with a view to achieving global food security.

Achieving global food security and eradicating hunger becomes more complicated as governments and other stakeholders around the world grapple with the challenges of rising population rates amidst the ever-increasing consequences of climate change.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), food security exists when “all people, at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

In light of this, it is apparent that the lack of food security has many has many implications for human development and well being with research showing that food insecurity negatively affects human physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development throughout the life course and is a major social and environmental disruptor with serious repercussions for planetary health.

Climate change, which has been identified by the Lancet Series on Planetary Health, as a major determinant of damage to, or the destruction of, ecosystems globally is therefore a major threat to crop diversity, the stability of food systems globally and therefore human development and national stability.  Eradication of hunger is therefore promoted to avoid these misfalls.

Current conditions of food insecurity and hunger will only increase unless new approaches and new thinking and interventions is applied to tackling this major global challenge.

The inaugural Agritech Africa 2020 Conference and Exhibition being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa from 17-19 June 2020 will bring together a range of stakeholders from across the agriculture, technology, innovation and agripreneur spectrum to deliberate on, and showcase, new solutions and models that will respond to current, and future conditions.

For more information visit https://agritech-africa.com/

Opportunities are still available to Exhibit at the Conference.  

For more information, please contact the Exhibition Managers:

Angela Randall tel: +27 11 465 1848 cell: 27 79 561 8309/ +27 71 939 4664 email: (angela@millvest.co.za)

Srinivas Rao tel: +91 40 7207221818 email: (srao@kenes-exhibitions.com)

Eva Waisler email: (ewaisler@kenes-exhibitions.com)

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Africa rises to lead conversation on sustainable agriculture amidst climate change https://agritech-africa.com/2019/08/08/africa-rises-to-lead-conversation-on-sustainable-agriculture-amidst-climate-change/ Thu, 08 Aug 2019 11:20:52 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5699 The drought which brought the Western Cape to its knees and hammered agriculture in various parts of the country – resulting in job losses and lost production – brought home the pressing need for a sustainable agriculture sector built on smart resource management and adaptation of production systems. By Dr Shadrack Moephuli president and CEO […]

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The drought which brought the Western Cape to its knees and hammered agriculture in various parts of the country – resulting in job losses and lost production – brought home the pressing need for a sustainable agriculture sector built on smart resource management and adaptation of production systems.

By Dr Shadrack Moephuli president and CEO of the Agricultural Research Council

Internationally, agriculture is under strain from climate change, the effects of which have been harshly felt in South Africa which is reeling from the worst drought. The fourth industrial revolution provides innovation and technological advances that can have a meaningful impact on the journey towards sustainable agriculture both in South Africa and on the continent.

The time for Africa – which is widely touted as being the world’s richest in terms of agriculture potential – to lead the conversation and innovation in sustainable farming has arrived.

Government support and collaboration among all stakeholders, incorporating global best practises in food security, management of land and water resources, value chain integration, access to finance and markets, and education and training should all be priorities in transforming the agriculture sector locally and on the continent as a whole.

Often, crises are the stimulus for innovation, and the water crisis in the Western Cape has been no different. Research and technology has already seen leaps forward in water management and technology-supported farming, and the trend is set to continue.

The Western Cape agriculture sector and economy has changed as a result of the drought and water restrictions. The drought has had a massive impact on agriculture, with the World Wildlife Fund estimating that 30,000 jobs have been lost in the province, while exports are down between 13 and 20% in 2018. Roughly 15% of the workforce in the province is dependent on agriculture.

Farmers have had to adapt and innovate in order to stay afloat, and climate predictions anticipate that by 2050 the average rainfall will have decreased by 30%. Increased water tariffs have also meant that the sector as a whole has needed to be innovative in order to be sustainable. This buttresses the point that, going forward, investment in agricultural research and development (R&D) is of utmost importance as climate-smart agriculture becomes an imperative rather than an option.

According to the WWF and Water Research Commission (WRC, 2018), the Western Cape has the largest area in the country under irrigation (269 476ha), but uses the lowest water use per unit area (5874 m3/ ha). This is testament to measures the sector has put in place as a direct result of having to deal with the drought that ravaged the province.

The drought illustrated the need to future-proof the sector against climate change. And the sector is making strides in rising to the challenge, such as the use of more drought-tolerant crops (such as the ARC’s Water Efficient Maize for Africa – WEMA maize cultivar), coordinated removing of water-thirsty alien vegetation in catchment areas and the use of technology for real-time measurement and management of available water and precision farming.

Precision farming is a broad term that describes the use of technology to monitor farming inputs and outputs in response to climate change in order to boost efficiency. The innovations come in the form of satellite technology, drones, interconnectivity and measurement of farming processes and equipment as well as biotechnology, and much more.

Globally, technology provides farmers with the ability to analyse water resources, soil quality, pests, tractors and other equipment in real time, and make adjustments and intelligent decisions based on the data.

While it is natural, and vital, for the private sector and entrepreneurs to innovate, it is equally important for all stakeholders to collaborate on a local, regional, national and international level.

There are various agritech entrepreneurs in South Africa, ranging from start-ups that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide agile farming solutions to an innovative financing model where investors, much like crowd-funding, can buy into shares of livestock.

Importantly though, the need for government support is paramount. Examples of successful tech-driven support for the farming industry can be found in the Western Cape agricultural department and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

The Western Cape Department of Agriculture sponsors FruitLook, a smart project designed to equip farmers with insights to improve efficiency and production. Using information from satellites, FruitLook data is provided free of charge to users, which gives them information on their farms, particular fields or areas of interest, and weekly and seasonal trends. Similarly, the ARC has developed several applications (Apps) to provide farmers with farm-specific weather information, such as AgriCloud and commodity and on-farm support with ARC Hub.

In terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of technology in the quest for sustainable agriculture, data derived from FruitLook can be used to assist with practical decision-making – such as where to irrigate, when would be most efficient to do so, and how much water to apply. This information builds up a database that can be analysed to improve future yields and output.

The Agricultural Research Council has facilitated research and development into the development of new crop cultivars and livestock breeds. This has enabled the development of new cultivars of fruits, crops, as well as forage crops over and above other technologies developed over time.

The ARC has also taken steps to empower South African farmers with a digital tool to access information. In 2018 the ARC launched its ARC Hub App, which provides information on different types of crops, livestock and production in relation to prevalent and forecasted weather conditions.

According to the National Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), the sector’s contribution to national GDP was 2.4% in 2017. The department acknowledges that the sector is vital to food security, it can also play a big role in the economic development and social transformation of the country. The department is now known as Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development under newly appointed Minister Thoko Didiza.

The national department has various initiatives and schemes to provide finance and support for emerging farmers, as well as plans to support the commercial sector, all while managing the government’s vital process of land and agrarian reform. The lessons from the crippling drought point to the fact that the department also has a responsibility to ensure that the country’s farmers remain competitive in the era of technology.

All efforts to grow and transform the sector need to be cognisant of the developments in technology and the potential for disruption and competitive advantage.

The challenges are immense and the stakes are high. However, as recent research by Disrupt Africa shows, the continent is ready to take its place at the forefront of agritech. In its Agrinnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Agritech Start-up Ecosystem Report 2018, it found that the number of start-ups in Africa grew 110% in the two years preceding the report.

It is against this backdrop that the International Agricultural Technology Exhibition and Conference will take place in Cape Town in June 2020. In a city that had to think out of the box and a province that had to innovate quickly, agriculture and agritech players from around the world will converge to learn and share about how technology is influencing global best practise in food security, financing models, training and more.

The time has arrived for Africa to lead the conversation, but it requires the input and collaboration of all stakeholders, from government all the way down the industry value chain.

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Meet the Agritech Africa 2020! https://agritech-africa.com/2019/06/23/meet-the-agritech-africa-2020/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 09:20:06 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5647 From the 17th to the 19th of June 2020, Cape Town will play host to the first ever Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals in the field of […]

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From the 17th to the 19th of June 2020, Cape Town will play host to the first ever Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals in the field of agriculture from around the world who will be exposed to the latest developments and technological innovations in agriculture that can address pressing issues such as climate change, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, job creation and food security.
www.agritech-africa.com


Hosted By: Kenes Exhibitions
Date of Event: 2020-06-17
Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre

 

Source: http://www.wcbn.co.za/events/event/2400/

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Meet the Agritech Africa 2020 Steering Committee Members! https://agritech-africa.com/2019/06/06/meet-the-agritech-africa-2020-steering-committee-members/ Thu, 06 Jun 2019 08:56:31 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5579   Agritech Africa 2020, set for Cape Town in June 2020, will bring together local and international best practice to look at solutions on how to advance African agriculture using innovation and technology. New approaches to agriculture will also ensure the involvement of young people, enable food security, sustainable use of the land and responses […]

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Agritech Africa 2020, set for Cape Town in June 2020, will bring together local and international best practice to look at solutions on how to advance African agriculture using innovation and technology. New approaches to agriculture will also ensure the involvement of young people, enable food security, sustainable use of the land and responses to climate change. 

 
Ambassador Bene M’PokoDr. Frikkie MaréDr. Maxwell Wengawenga
Dean of the Diplomatic Corps & Ambassador, DRC to South AfricaAcademic Departmental Head: Agricultural Economics, University of the Free StateAssistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Malawi, Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Food Security
MEET
THE

STEERING COMMITTEE
Ms. Mpho Ramosili(Click on the name to see the bio)Mr. Jeffers Miruka
Senior Manager for Communications & Marketing, Agricultural Research Council Executive Director, Association of African Agricultural Economists
Mr. Chris WildMs. Prema ZilbermanMs. Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo
Executive Director, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA)Managing Director, Kenes ExhibitionsCEO, Mahindra Special Services Group

A highly accomplished Steering Committee including recognized experts and specialists in the field of agriculture and food security is set to ensure this Conference and Exhibition meets the expectations of delegates and exhibitors by bringing together local knowledge with cutting edge advances in the sector.
Seize the chance to become a part of Agritech Africa 2020!

Book your space
For more information, please contact Chantal Gelderbloem,
e-mail:
cgelderbloem@kenes-exhibitions.com, tel.: 0747457435.

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Africa’s first international agritech expo coming to SA https://agritech-africa.com/2019/06/06/africas-first-international-agritech-expo-coming-to-sa-2/ Thu, 06 Jun 2019 08:37:16 +0000 https://agritech-africa.com/?p=5577  28 May 2019 | Eastern Cape Industrial and Business SOUTH Africa will host the first ever Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 17 to 19 June 2020, the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals […]

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 28 May 2019 | Eastern Cape Industrial and Business

SOUTH Africa will host the first ever Agritech Africa exhibition and conference, aimed at accelerating agricultural advancements on the African continent.

Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 17 to 19 June 2020, the event is expected to draw thousands of professionals in the field of agriculture from around the world who will be exposed to the latest developments and technological innovations in agriculture that can address pressing issues such as climate change, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, job creation and food security.

The event is being brought to South Africa by Kenes Exhibitions, which has been producing exhibitions and conferences around the globe in the agricultural, water technology, biomedical, and cyberspace arenas for the past decade.

“Agriculture provides a source of livelihood for 61% of the 337 million people living in the Southern African Development Community. It is also crucial for food security, which in turn assists in political stability and is central to the development of agro-industries,” said Dr Max Wengawenga, Assistant Chief Economic Advisor to the President of Malawi.

“However, the local industry is plagued by challenges like climate change, not being able to meet the standards of international markets, changes in consumption patterns and population growth driving increased demand for food. The way forward in overcoming these obstacles and unlocking the opportunities offered by agriculture is technology.”

Kenes Exhibitions Managing Director, Prema Zilberman said, “It was with this in mind that we decided to host an international agricultural technology exhibition and conference in South Africa – the country at the heart of the African renaissance.”

Issues affecting the African agriculture industry, including the management of land and water resources, food security, as well as the development of an Innovation Ecosystem, will be explored in depth at the Agritech Africa 2020 conference by local and international experts, the names of whom will be revealed over the coming weeks.

 

 

 

Taking place alongside the conference will be an exhibition comprised an anticipated 200 exhibitors who will showcase cutting edge technologies, products, and systems in the areas of aquaculture; fertilisers and chemicals; livestock and dairy farming; irrigation and water management; plant protection; rural development; poultry; agri-ecology; food security and safety; marketing; exporting and more. Exhibitors will range from start-ups with exciting new technologies, to existing companies with proven or breakthrough products.

“Agritech Africa 2020 will provide a platform to take on pressing challenges faced within the agricultural sector and find solutions that will allow for sustainable economic growth,” said Zilberman.

Sources: https://www.easterncapeindustrialnews.co.za/news/africas-first-international-agritech-expo-coming-to-sa-1

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