Participants of the Afri tech expo have expressed commitment to scale up the use of agri tech.
The first edition of ATX 2022 has opened on Wednesday at Ethiopian Skylight Hotel. The expo is co-organized by Jorka Events Organizer in partnership with African Technology Expo.
The expo is expected to improve economic diplomacy, encourage economic growth, and aid to improve the nation’s image through promoting technology transfer by giving competent international businesses with vast expertise the chance to participate.
More than 45,000 people are expected to take part at the expo, and foreign businesses operating in the cyber security, biotechnology, solar energy, and communication sectors are displaying their goods and services.
Government official has presented experiences regarding agri-tech.
Adugna Debela (PhD), Director-General of the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority said that production and distribution of coffee is being conducted and supervised by his office using a digital system—a mobile app.
“We developed an app to control coffee development and distribution,” he said.
“The digital system has created transparency and honesty among buyers and sellers,” he added.
Adugna said that using the tech is helping to curb coffee contraband trade.
Ethiopia’s agricultural digitalization has also been supported by international partners.
For instance, issues regarding the Netherlands Trust Fund (NTF) Five programme, which has been funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, to support agri digitalization initiative were raised.
The programme will be implemented until June 2025.
Belete Molla (PhD), Minister of Innovation and Technology said that the programme has a central theme of building resilient trade competitiveness by fast tracking the digital technology sector which aims at contributing to the creation of sustainable jobs in the digital tech sector.
The program focuses on rebuilding Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ethiopia, in the digital technology and agribusiness sectors linking up both for synergies and business opportunities, according to Belete.
Meanwhile, Paula Schindeler, Deputy Head of Mission/Head of Development Cooperation at Embassy of Kingdom of the Netherlands on her part said that there’s now a consensus that the fast development of the digital economy and shift towards using digital technologies has really a transformational impact on productions, consumptions, work and trade patterns.
“That’s why we’re very proud to be a partner to this program. We see that digitalization is such a powerful driver of economic growth impacting in particular trade for SMEs,” she said.
A company working on modernizing agriculture also shared experiences to participants.
Selam Abdela, Communication and Knowledge Development Lead at Lersha (literary meaning for agriculture) shared her experience in agricultural challenges.
She listed lack of inputs and mechanization as main problems.
Lersha works on trying to solve the critical challenges that farmers facing in Ethiopia and taking digital rally to solve the challenges.
Lersha provides a one-stop digital service to small holder farmers and enables them to access farm inputs, hire mechanization services, and request dynamic agro-climate advice using technology.