Youth e-agriculture entrepreneurship
This ICT-Update magazine (PDF) published by CTA focuses on youth e-agriculture entrepreneurship. Young innovators in Africa, the Caribbean, and Pacific region, have recognized the need for creative solutions to raise agricultural productivity and the huge prospective market for their ICT-enabled services in agriculture (ICT4Ag). Young innovators face some specific challenges. For example, they often have limited understanding of the agriculture sector, specifically the functioning of value chains and the diversity of stakeholders. Specific gaps frequently mentioned by young entrepreneurs include the lack of business courses in agriculture and ICT curricula, the lack of capacities and sustainability in innovation hubs and incubators, the limited availability of venture capital and an unfavorable business environment in general. Although young e-agriculture entrepreneurs still face many challenges, the magazine argues that they have the potential to transform agricultural value chains in developing countries. The majority of ICT4Ag applications focus on the production segment, in particular on the provision of extension and advisory services. Other innovative examples include GPS-based tracking of livestock, “smart” tractors integrating geo-localisation services, SMS features for communication between farmers and tractor owners, and data collection on usage. The issue includes articles with many examples and challenges of scaling-up initiatives and ensuring inclusive initiatives and on how to set up healthy, supportive eco-sytems for ICT start-ups in agriculture. It also offers practical advise on how young e-agriculture entrepreneurs can fund their initiatives and on how to develop a business strategy.