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Découvrez Maryanne Gichanga, CEO et co-fondatrice d’AgriTech Analytics

Découvrez Maryanne Gichanga, CEO et co-fondatrice d’AgriTech Analytics

Interview of Maryanne Gichanga, CEO and co-founder of AgriTech Analytics

Q1. Introduce your project in a few sentences

Today, famine threatens at least 21 million people in East Africa. Small-scale farmers continuously experience diminishing crop yields due to climate change, poor farming methods and soil degradation. Therefore, we created a crop and soil management tool that leverages on data from AI-powered satellite analytics driven by ML algorithms and data from our solar-powered IoT sensor.

When installed in the farm, this sensor is able to directly capture soil health parameters (soil pH, moisture, temperature, and NPK) both at root and ground levels, and also detect pests and crop diseases. We work with small-scale farmers and using our technology we help them access the following on their phones :
– Detect 23 types of crop pests and 11 types of crop diseases early enough and communicated to the farmers on time to avoid crop damages and losses.
– Help the farmers determine soil health parameters in order to get accurate farm inputs like fertilisers, water, labour, herbicides, pesticides etc. Thus, reducing the cost of farm inputs by more than 43%
– Increase farm yields output by 57% per ha after using our solution for 3-6 months and to over 75% per ha after using our solution for 1 year.
– Farmers can now use our over 95% accurate Yield Prediction facility as collateral to acquire loans from financial institutions to help them purchase seeds and fertilisers. For example, in the last 6 months, 98 farmers acquired loan facilities amounting to KES 1,390,000 from financial institutions using the Yield Prediction feature.
– The Yield Prediction facility is also used by farmers to acquire insurance facilities from insurance firms helping mitigate losses from crop damages.
– Issuance of 15 days weather forecast to the farmers for planning.

Q2. What societal, environmental or social impact are you trying to achieve?

We are currently working with 2,880 small-scale farmers who are distributed in Rift Valley, Central and Eastern parts of Kenya with a target to enrol 15,000 farmers by 2024. There are 33 million farmers in Africa and approximately 4.5 million small-scale farmers in Kenya. Our target market is 2.5% of this demographic in Kenya which translates to 112,500 farmers by 2027.

Using our solution, we have had the impact to farmers as below;
1. Detect 23 types of crop pests and 11 types of crop diseases early enough and communicated to the farmers on time to avoid crop damages and losses. 2. Help the farmers determine soil health parameters in order to get accurate farm inputs like fertilisers, water, labour, herbicides, pesticides etc. Thus, reducing the cost of farm inputs by more than 43%
3. Increase farm yields output by 57% per ha after using our solution for 3-6 months and to over 75% per ha after using our solution for 1 year.
4. Farmers can now use our over 95% accurate Yield Prediction facility as collateral to acquire loans from financial institutions to help them purchase seeds and fertilisers. For example, in the last 6 months, 98 farmers acquired loan facilities amounting to KES 1,390,000 from financial institutions using the Yield Prediction feature.
5. The Yield Prediction facility is also used by farmers to acquire insurance facilities from insurance firms helping mitigate losses from crop damages.
6. Issuance of 15 days weather forecast to the farmers for planning.

Q3. What do you expect from les Margaret Awards?

– Investment support, funding and digital equipment to accelerate our growth.
– Linking us to high-class experts in AI, ML, IoT, data analytics, sales and marketing, financial management and strategy management will help increase our impact to small-scale farmers.
– Drawing strategies and implementation plans on acquisition, retention and management of talent.
– Business mentorship from successful entrepreneurs, investors, JFD partners and experts. By expanding to new territories, we need guidance in legal, financial and strategic management for success thereof.
– Expanding to 5 countries will need marketing and creating awareness. The media exposure worth €1 million for one year will really amplify our company growth and impact to small-scale farmers.
– Women need a voice to tell them it is possible to succeed. Being chosen as a finalist in Les Margaret award and other global awards gives me a voice to champion for women success. I look forward to the speaking opportunities at major international events to share our story and more
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