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  • Writer's pictureDenis Rubanga

A Data-Powered Agriculture Talk




This is part of the series of the Emerging Market Innovation newsletter! 

In this edition, we will be focusing on the highlights of last week's live session https://www.linkedin.com/events/emergingmarketinnovationadata-p7135549545786068992/comments/ that delved into agri-tech and data expertise. 

Our guest speaker, Mwenda Mugendi, a seasoned tech professional, shared valuable insights on the challenges and opportunities in this rapidly evolving space.

Data technology is the key to revolutionizing agriculture, enhancing crop value, optimizing resource allocation, and fostering sustainability. Bridging the gap between data experts and agricultural specialists is crucial for maximizing efficiency. Investment in on-farm and off-farm technologies can transform the agricultural value chain, meeting consumer demand and trade requirements.

Session Highlights:

  • Mwenda's background and experience in the tech industry, with a focus on climate, environmental, and financial sectors working with Microsoft , PULA etc

  • The complexities of the global agriculture and food supply chains, and the role of technology in addressing these challenges.

  • Strategies for bridging the gap between data experts and agricultural specialists, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and user-centric design.

  •  The key areas of focus in the agri-tech space, including technology, people, and policy, and the potential impact of public-private partnerships and commodity exchange programs.

  • The need to connect and empower smallholder farmers through data and technology, and the potential for AI to revolutionize the sector.


1. Tech Solutions for Ag Challenges

Mwenda, a seasoned tech professional with a decade of experience in the African emerging market ecosystem, discussed the complexities of the global agriculture and food supply chains. 

He highlighted the role of technology in addressing these challenges, such as resource scarcity and the complexities of the agriculture value chain. Mentioned the use of technologies like blockchain for traceability, advanced analytics, AI, and ML for risk management and yield optimization. 

He emphasized that these .. 

Technologies could help stakeholders plan accordingly and align production cycles with market demands.

2. Bridging Data-Ag Expertise Gap

Bridging the gap between data experts and agricultural specialists is crucial for developing effective solutions. Strategies to bridge this gap include engaging in feedback loops, building collaborative work environments, forming interdisciplinary teams, using use case studies, and adopting user-centric designs. The emphasis was to combine the knowledge of data experts and agricultural specialists, and paying attention to a holistic solutions that can be built to address the challenges faced by the agriculture industry.

Bridging the gap between data experts and agricultural specialists is crucial for developing effective solutions

3. Investment in AgData Chain

Investment in the AgData chain is essential for capacity building and enhancing productivity for farmers, especially smallholder farmers. Companies like Digital Green are investing in providing farmer education and actionable information. 

The vivid solution is investing in programs that help farmers, organizations can enable innovation and improve the overall agriculture industry.

4. Inclusive Data Economy Benefits

Mwenda discussed the potential benefits of an inclusive data economy. He emphasized the need for policies that support sustainability and environmental impact systems, which would ensure traceability and quality control in food production. He also highlighted the importance of capacity building and the need to connect and empower smallholder farmers through data and technology. This connectivity can lead to better decision-making, improved resource allocation, and increased productivity for farmers.

5. AgRails: 

Mwenda's current work with AgRails focuses on enhancing accessibility and addressing underserved markets. He discussed the potential of AI to revolutionize the sector and the importance of connecting farmers to create a community that directly benefits from the farming ecosystem. He also highlighted the potential of value-added services to organizations and the need for innovation in the sector.

connecting farmers to create a community that directly benefits from the farming ecosystem

A wrap up of this newsletter is to inspire innovation that shapes the trajectory of sustainable data-driven agriculture.

Uncovering tech solutions for agricultural challenges, bridging the data-agriculture expertise gap, investing in the AgData chain, promoting an inclusive data economy, and addressing climate and agricultural risks through platforms like Agrails.


Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next newsletter

If you found value in this newsletter, please consider sharing it. If you have any questions or would like more information, feel free to reach out—I'm here to help and discuss further details. Thank you for your time and engagement!


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