UP42 and GIZ collaboration supports agricultural start-ups in Africa with geospatial technology

Information from UP42

UP42 and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are making geospatial technology available to local farming-related start-up businesses under the GIZ Make-IT in Africa project. “We support start-ups to gain more users and explore new business opportunities. To this end, we build capacities in the area of data analytics, interoperability and business modelling”, said Marc Hümmer, advisor at Make-IT in Africa.

The initiative provides business training and technical support to local start-ups that in turn can offer commercial agriculture services to growers in their areas. Through this program, UP42 is providing technical consulting along with access to its developer platform for Earth observation data and analytics. These datasets and processing algorithms – along with cloud computing power – allows users to create their own geospatial solutions.

In mid-2020, UP42 provided hands-on training to start-ups on the selection of satellite images and application of processing analytics. This instruction emphasised building custom agriculture solutions on the company’s application programming interface (API) for development of commercial services.

Three start-ups utilised the company’s platform in their businesses:

  • Crop2Cash in Nigeria is developing a credit scoring model based on historical times-series data of farm performance derived from archived satellite imagery to make it easier for financial institutions to finance smallholder farms. For many small farm fields, the only verifiable source of historical yield data is archived satellite imagery.
  • HeHe in Rwanda is digitising Africa’s trade ecosystem by creating new supply chain and logistics technologies that match supply and demand. This enables growers to expand markets and reach customers more efficiently. UP42 is supporting HeHe in the development of yield prediction algorithms so that delivering crops to consumers can be anticipated and planned in advance.
  • GrowForMe of Ghana is building a sponsorship agriculture model where investors can fund specific smallholder farms in Africa. The farmer uses the funding to expand their existing operations, and the investor receives a share of the profit after harvest. UP42 is helping to enhance the GrowForMe online platform with integrated weather data and other information so that both farmer and investor can monitor growing conditions throughout the season.

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