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This article is an excerpt from the Addis Ababa Startup Ecosystem Report 2023, prepared by Shega in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Innovation & Technology (MInT).

The paper provides readers with a deep dive into the capital’s startup landscape and can be accessed by clicking here.

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With a vast number of smallholder farmers and limited access to modern technology and finance, there is a significant need for innovative solutions that can help farmers increase their productivity and income. Various agri-tech startups are emerging in Ethiopia by leveraging technology to connect farmers with markets, financing, and other critical services across the agricultural value chain. Farm monitoring, agricultural inputs, tractor and machinery access, productivity, and agro-productivity are some of the product types.

One of the most significant challenges facing Ethiopian farmers is access to markets. Many smallholder farmers struggle to find buyers for their products, which often leads to low prices and financial insecurity. Another critical issue for Ethiopian farmers is access to finance. Most smallholder farmers have limited access to credit, which makes it difficult for them to invest in their farms and increase their productivity. In addition to addressing these challenges, agritech startups in Ethiopia are also helping farmers increase their productivity using technology. For example, Hello Erf provides farmers with access to affordable, on-demand tractor services, which can significantly increase their productivity. By using these services, farmers can prepare their fields more quickly and efficiently, which can lead to higher yields and increased income.

Agri-tech startups in Ethiopia are playing a critical role in transforming the country’s agricultural sector. By leveraging technology to connect farmers with markets, financing, and other critical services, these startups are helping to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and drive economic growth in rural communities. As the sector continues to grow and evolve, we will likely see even more innovative solutions emerge that can help Ethiopian farmers overcome the challenges they face and thrive in the years ahead.

According to the Addis Ababa Startup Ecosystem Report, 19% of the agri-tech startups are in the post-early stages. These post-stage agri-tech startups have created direct employment opportunities for more than five people each and indirect job opportunities for more than 10 people, with revenue exceeding $20,000 in 2023.

Agro-processing, rental equipment applications, and agricultural productivity-boosting technologies are among the most frequently provided services by agri-tech startups.

Sample Service

Tractor and Machinery Lending Companies

Ethiopia is one of the countries with the lowest use of agricultural mechanization tools. Increased urbanization and higher food demand have resulted in increased demand for mechanization products as the food supply must keep up with these trends. However, most Ethiopian farmers are small farmers who do not have enough access to mechanization products. Various startups are emerging to this end, with the goal of leasing and providing farmers with mechanization tools. The startups are engaged in the provision of tractors and machinery for farmers through digital platforms.

Agro-Processing

Agro-processing refers to the process of converting agricultural raw materials into output. We have seen several agri-tech companies that are engaged in agro-processing to convert the raw inputs into outputs.

Sample Agri-Tech Companies

1. HelloErf

Founded in 2021 by Alazar Michael and Gizachew Mesfin, HelloErf is a product that aims to connect smallholder farmers with mechanization service providers. It is a mechanization hiring tool that aims to use call centers and Internet of Things-powered mobile apps used to track and monitor tractors and combine harvesters, along with booking management features.

2. Armada

Founded by Semegn Tadesse back in 2022, Armada Agriculture is a modern mechanization service provider offering comprehensive services ranging from renting tractors with complementary implements, spare parts, and maintenance facilities to training operators and maintenance technicians.

3. Benu

Founded in 2018 by Betelhem Lakew and Amen Temesgen, BeNu Foods is a startup biscuit company in Ethiopia. They aim to produce healthy, nutritional, and affordable local-based products for the community.

4. GreenPath Foods

Founded by Eric Couper, Jacie Jones, and Sidhant Kamath with a capital of 3.1 million USD, GreenPath Food produces and sources premium, organic food in the Southern Highlands of Ethiopia. Everything grown by Green Path Foods is hand-sown, organically grown, and harvested without machinery.

5. Omishtu-Joy

Founded in 2021 by Tigabu Abraham, Henok Ambaye, and Abdiwak Bekele, Omishtu-Joy is an agri-tech startup that develops tools and resources to optimize crop productivity. The company’s products are designed to provide enhanced PH, fertilizer, moisture, humidity, and temperature testing capabilities.

6. Green Agrosolution (LERSHA)

Established in 2020 by Abraham Endrias, Lersha is a one-stop digital service for smallholder farmers that enables them to access farm inputs, hire mechanization services, and request dynamic agroclimate advisory using technology. The application also promotes agricultural finance and insurance involving direct linkage among farmers.

List of Agritech Startups in Ethiopia 

 

 

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