• “This application will be the agricultural exchange by excellence in Africa in the coming years”
  • “This application will be the agricultural exchange by excellence in Africa in the coming years”

“This application will be the agricultural exchange by excellence in Africa in the coming years”

To allow agriculture to break the beaten track in Togo and West Africa, a digital platform called “E-agribusiness” was launched last May in the Togolese capital. It makes producers visible, enables them to invest in a market with high potential, increases sales volumes, reduces shortages, and increases cultivated areas and the emulation of the agro-industry sector. According to the developer, Edeh Dona Etchri, a 30-year-old web entrepreneur, this platform will become in the coming years “the agricultural exchange by excellence in Africa”.

Interview by Blamé Ekoué

Last May, you set up a digital platform to promote agribusiness in Togo and Africa. How does your platform work?

The e-agribusiness application is part of the new context called e-agriculture launched in the years 2000 in the United States. It operates first as a stock exchange and then as an agricultural information system. Why? Because it is primarily a virtual “market place” where each player proposes or buys his product. So there is supply, demand, and also barter. That’s why I’m talking about agricultural exchange.

What’s about the agricultural information system and what is its contribution to agricultural producers?

E-agribusiness is not limited to facilitating the search for opportunities for both Togolese and African producers. As you know, we are in the digital era. Today, other countries, such as the United States, have made several experiments that increase productivity by providing appropriate information in record time. This includes information on new agricultural systems and techniques, meteorological data and soil composition. All this information can be given to the producers in the most remote agricultural areas via the channels of the e-agribusiness application, to impact on productivity. We are in Africa, and today the rainfall changes from year to year, but the majority of the producers do not master some data. Thanks to this revolutionary tool in the continent, the producers will have reliable information regardless of geographical location, to know when to plant or what type of fertilizer to use for its soil. I want to tell you that the application locates, thanks to the GPS, the precise situation of the field – and in return, it deals then gives the necessary information to the producer. In short, this tool is a revolution in the African agribusiness sector.

But how can the producers, who are mostly illiterate, master this tool, look for information on fields and select the outlets?

We have a call center in local languages ​​to welcome all illiterate producers or buyers who could not use the technological tools. More broadly, we have in all five channels to get the messages across: SMS and USSD that can operate in Internet-difficult access areas. We also have the website, and the mobile application, in addition to the call center. As you know, the digital economy is increasing in Africa, but one of the major challenges remains the accessibility of broadband Internet. Therefore, thanks to all these channels, agribusiness players can easily get in touch even without a connection. We have gone further by signing partnerships with the media, such as the national Togolese television, which will also disseminate information about producer offers and buyer demand. Finally, the social networks are used for wide dissemination. For example, our Facebook page within a few weeks has already federated more than 4400 potential buyers in the world. Africa must take advantage of the digital economy to revolutionize agribusiness. This application will thus be the agricultural exchange par excellence in Africa in the coming years. We are aiming very high, and we intend to extend it to all the other countries of the sub-region, why not even to the whole of Africa.


 

Author : Blamé Ekoué // Photos : Edeh Dona Etchri, concepteur et promoteur de l’e-agrobusiness au Togo © DR

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