Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Netagrow

How is data-driven tech supporting smallholders?

Agriculture & Energy

The platform supports resilience in agriculture for smallholder farmers and improves access to markets

Spotted: In 2021, just two per cent of international public climate finance ($2 billion, or around €1.8 billion) was directed at small-scale family farmers and rural communities. Yet, in Sub-Saharan Africa alone, smallholders’ annual finance needs are estimated at around $170 billion. 

Market access, along with business technologies to help automate tasks, are harder to come by for rural communities. And many of the world’s growers that work on two hectares or less of land are also some of the poorest, without enough food to feed themselves and their families. Zambian agtech company Netagrow wants to change that and better support farmers that many consider “the unsung heroes” of our global food system. 

To do that, Netagrow has created a platform that brings smallholder farmers online. Using digital field and crop management capability, along with predictive analysis for weather, digital financial tools, and access to markets, Netagrow helps producers reduce risk and improve yield.  

The company provides agtech as a subscription service, with fees starting at ZK50 (around €1.78) per month for individual farmers. There is a professional level of access for larger landowners as well as an industrial option of ZK599 (around €21.29) per month for cooperatives and other organisations of multiple farmers. Each option includes weather analysis, field and crop oversight, financial tools, and an online storefront. Other subscription levels include people management tools and additional means of managing invoices and orders.  

Netagrow’s online shop connects farmers directly with consumers, without the need for an expensive middleman, and transactions are easily tracked in the expenses and income part of the platform. The company also provides a delivery service, either as part of the industrial subscription option or as an add-on to other levels.  

From solar-powered GPS sensors that track herd locations to a pay-as-you-use model for renewable energy, Springwise’s library showcases a range of technologies being used to help farmers grow more sustainably and efficiently.

Written By: Keely Khoury



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