Agriculture has always been on the scene of Nigeria’s internal revenue generation mechanism before the discovery of crude oil in the 1970s. Even though there was a major refocus of the economy with almost maximum focus on oil, Agriculture has been providing necessary support for the economy. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Agriculture recorded 23.78 per cent in the second quarter of 2021, higher than 22.35 per cent in the first quarter of 2021.
In Africa, Agriculture is critical to some of the continent’s biggest development goals. The sector is an engine of job creation: Agriculture accounts for about 60 per cent of total employment in sub-Saharan Africa, while the share of jobs across the value chain is potentially much larger. In Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, the Agriculture industry is projected to add more jobs than the rest of the economy between 2010 and 2025.
Agricultural yield has improved tremendously in the recent decade, as a result of advances in technology that have increased the scale, speed and efficiency of farm equipment, allowing for more efficient cultivation of more lands. In the same vein, seeds, irrigation and fertilizers have all improved dramatically, allowing farmers to raise yields. Agriculture is currently in the midst of yet another transformation, with data and connectivity at its core. Artificial intelligence, analytics, networked sensors and other emerging technologies in crop agriculture and animal husbandry could also prove beneficial in the pursuit to boost yields and improve sustainability and resilience.
In Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and the uttermost part of the continent, a slew of innovations in agricultural technology (AgricTech) has emerged over the last decade to serve agriculturalists, who have long been neglected yet are crucial to the continent’s food security. These technologies offer services that range from SMS weather alerts and mobile apps offering credit, seeds, and machinery to more advanced solutions such as precision farming, which uses satellite, drone imagery and soil sensors to provide real-time data on crop health.
This article aims to highlight the importance of AgricTech in Nigeria and Africa, and possible legal issues associated with AgricTech firms.