As the agricultural landscape undergoes a technological revolution, the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with Bopinc under the Netherlands Trust Fund V programme is pioneering a transformation in small-scale agribusinesses. This partnership aims to integrate innovative tech solutions into operations, propelling growth and sustainability within the sector.
Focusing on cocoa processing in Ghana, coffee production in Ethiopia, and diverse crops including cashews in Senegal, the initiative strives to elevate local crop processing within these nations. By leveraging agritech advancements and digital marketing, the collaboration targets increased profitability, amplified incomes, and enriched employment prospects.
The strategic approach involves comprehensive measures spanning market research, product development, sustainable processing, packaging, marketing, and the establishment of targeted commercial ties. Crucially, it entails seamless integration of tech tools and platforms into the operational framework of these businesses.
Agritech adoption for regulatory alignment
A pivotal aspect is the preparation of small-scale businesses for compliance with the forthcoming EU Corporate Sustainable Due Diligence Directive (CS3D). This necessitates a focus on data accuracy, transparency enhancement, and bolstered operational traceability.
Commencing with a meticulous assessment of digital necessities among chosen businesses in Ghana, Ethiopia, and Senegal, the pilots emphasise the urgent need for digitalisation, particularly through enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. These upgrades promise heightened transparency and traceability—crucial for adhering to regulatory standards like the EU CS3D directive.
Transformative initiatives: Impact across regions
In Senegal, the Zena cashew nut processor is undergoing a revolutionary tech adoption to enhance competitiveness and capture local markets’ growing demand for indigenous products. Simultaneously, Ghana’s Fair Trade-certified Kuapa Kokoo Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU) anticipates ground-breaking advancements benefiting its extensive network of 100 000 cocoa farmers.
Ethiopia, a pivotal focus, witnesses the installation of automated systems to track coffee production, boosting efficiency for the Bench Maji Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union comprising 21 000 members. Additionally, the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union aligns with tech company AgUnity, targeting compliance with EU legislation and the imperative of deforestation-free products.
Ensuring continuation beyond projects
Integral to success is the creation of a comprehensive directory of digital tools in Ethiopia, a pioneering initiative set to be replicated in other countries by the ITC. The sustainable nature of these pilots, buoyed by co-funding from beneficiaries, ensures their continuation beyond the project’s lifespan.
Emphasis on capacity building within business service organisations further ensures sustained digital transformation within the agribusiness sector at the national level.