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Disruptive technologies in agricultural value chains: insights from East Africa

Working papers

Written by Aarti Krishnan, Karishma Banga, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra

Hero image description: Ugandan smallholder farmer logs field planting data on her phone Image credit:CTA ACP-EU Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Global food demand is expected to increase by somewhere between 59% and 98% by 2050 as the world population reaches an estimated 9.7 billion. Food production is especially critical in Africa, where over 70% of the population rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. 

Against a backdrop of the rapid dwindling of agricultural productivity, the exclusion of women from the work force and the threat of climate change, an increase in the use of agricultural technologies – AgriTech – could help reduce livelihood loss and support inclusive economic transformation. 

This working paper explores the implications of the digitalisation of agriculture, with a focus on East Africa. It addresses the following key questions: 

  • What is AgriTech?
  • What prevents adoption of AgriTech?
  • What does disruption mean within AgriTech?
  • What are the pathways through which AgriTech may disrupt livelihoods and support transformation?