Digitisation of the agrifood sector

The Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies set ambitious targets for the agricultural sector to ensure it is Green Deal-ready. Organic farming will be a key ally in the transition that we are leading towards a more sustainable food system and a better protection of our biodiversity. The Commission will support the organic sector towards the achievement of the 25% target of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 with the appropriate policy and legal framework. ” – European Union.

Software Associates - Digitisation solutions for of agrifood sector

In the usual traditional way of procuring food ingredients, most restaurants and food markets source the products from other parts of the country or around the world. These products are picked before they are ripe, frozen and need to be shipped long distances which results in food that is bland and less nutritious. Farm to fork or Farm to table is an emerging social movement worldwide where food chains source their ingredients from local farms, usually through direct acquisition from a farmer. The movement is set to fuel a new dimension of fresh and local.

The Farm-to-fork movement exists for a good reason and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. As the food gets procured from local farms, it is fresher, flavorful and is filled with vitamins. Farm to fork helps to boost the local economy and support local farmers. The restaurants get delicious and fresh produce, and the farmer gets recognition for their hard work as well as guaranteed business. The movement supports reduced carbon footprint as the product doesn’t have to be shipped long distances. 

Digital solutions in agrofood industries

Agricultural production is the core economic sector for the majority of Africa and scaling up agribusiness is the next growth frontier. Post-COVID-19,  countries will  be forced to do things differently, the government and companies will need to review their supply chain resilience, adopt customer-driven business models, food safety procedures, and safety. At this stage, it is important for Africa to identify and rally around transformation models such as farm to fork in order to cope up with global trends. Healthy lifestyle and convenience remain some of the key consumer trends driving the farm to fork models. With information readily available over the internet,  consumers are also more knowledgeable and are concerned about food quality, sustainable farming and animal welfare, as part of digitisation in agrofood industry.

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The digitalisation of the agrifood sector is a prominent theme emerging in the Farm to Fork strategy, which emphasises that all actors in the food chain should harness technological and digital solutions to deliver on sustainability goals. Digital farming helps farmers to be connected, have more insights on farms and thereby mitigate risk. Use of digital solutions in food inspections, trucking and refrigeration are bringing efficiency to food logistics and give sellers and end consumers better insights into the shelf life and pricing of specific shipments of produce. 

Food loss in many developing countries is a matter of utmost importance and it is found that 94% of losses occur as a result of inefficiencies in the supply chain, from harvesting through distribution. Information and communication technology applications play an important role in eliminating such inefficiencies and make the continent’s agribusiness systems more competitive.

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