Agro Innovators

By Synka JyteDavis and Damilola Ekpo Edited by Felicia Ochelle

By Synka JyteDavis and Damilola Ekpo Editor: Felicia Ochelle

Here’s our list of African innovators committed to the development of Africa’s thriving agricultural sector. Using technology, these professionals are reimagining farming and food production across the continent.

Wassim Chabani

Chahbani Technologies

Wassim Chabani is a Tunisian that is well-grounded in the field of business administration, agriculture and engineering. Leveraging his vast knowledge, he joined Chahbani Technologies (Chahtech), a water management company in Tunisia, where he is also a co-owner of the company.

Chahtech has pioneered a leading innovation called Buried Diffuser, an irrigation technique that enables increased growth of crops through an underground irrigation system that delivers water and nutrients to plants at the root level.

Besides saving water, the diffuser also produces healthier plants, which results in better crop quality. In addition, the buried diffuser eliminates the use of herbicides, reduces soil salinization, and improves soil aeration while saving energy.

Wassim believes that continuing to farm as before is not tomorrow’s solution. Adaptation strategies are required and critically important.

Uka Eje

Thrive Agric

Uka Eje started his journey in the Agric space eight years ago when he attended the commissioning of a modern rice mill in North-central Nigeria. This was the encounter that changed everything for him.

After he identified and witnessed challenges such as insufficient access to finance, mechanization and advisory services, as well as markets, he knew something had to be done. This led him to foray into the sector and address these critical issues by creating Thrive Agric.

Thrive Agric is a technology-driven agricultural company passionate about ensuring global food security. The company built a platform that connects farmers to investors, and today, Thrive Agric is a success story, improving the lives of thousands of local farmers while on a mission to build an Africa that feeds the world and itself.

Uka believes that with more young people entering the agricultural sector, there is an opportunity in the continent to address rising societal issues such as youth unemployment and restiveness, food security, etc. By solving these challenges and more, the continent will be positioned to experience unprecedented economic growth.

Peninah Wanja

Digi Cow

Peninah Wanja is a Kenyan practising extension officer, who witnessed firsthand the challenge of raising cattle without professional help as she grew up watching her mother practice subsistence farming, having one dairy cow.

Over the years, she noticed that inadequate information made farmers rely on trial and error in their day-to-day activities, resulting in low productivity. She decided to close this gap by providing a technology-based solution called Digi Cow.

In close collaboration with corporate and financing partners, social enterprises, hubs and networks, Digi Cow supports the growth of an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs in the digital sector – to facilitate better access to finance, markets and skills.

The app offers expert advice to farmers and allows them to keep up-to-date records of their cows. With this, farmers can reach a dairy farming consultant or access verified information on the dairy sector and new technologies.

For her, the most difficult challenge she has encountered while working in the agricultural sector is having to deal with the mindset of people toward Agriculture. However, her passion for the field has kept her going. She sees an Africa where farmers embrace IT, data-driven decisions and new technologies.

Dominique Kavuisya


Dominique Kavuisya was exposed to agriculture at a very young age as he grew up taking care of his family farm where he learnt the basics of agricultural production, market identification and much more. As he advanced, he developed the drive to provide livelihood opportunities for marginalized communities and also provide solutions to crop wastage.

He observed that Africa has a poor agricultural supply chain as there are so many people in the sector but extremely fragmented and poor infrastructure. Having worked for some of the top global FMCG brands, it was obvious to him that creating a data-driven supply chain will go a long way in building a formal supply chain that will benefit both smallholder farmers and urban informal traders.

He saw this as a big opportunity to transform Africa’s agriculture using Taimba; a business-to-business mobile-based online platform that digitizes the agriculture value chain, creates price transparency, cuts wastage and creates new revenue for farmers and micro-traders.

He believes in the power of collaborations among key players; government, private sector and policy framework as this will spur and sustain growth and food supply across the African continent.

Samuel Munguti

Farm Pride

Samuel Munguti believes that smallholder farmers are the future of African agriculture and everyone has the potential to make a true difference.

He was raised in a rural farming community in Eastern Kenya, where he nurtured interests in agriculture which led him to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness. Over the years, his passion became lucid as he sought a solution to address challenges facing farmers in his community such as lack of access to the right inputs, services and information for effective operation.

His first business venture was watermelon and tomato farming which failed due to his inability to get the right raw materials, services, and information. He then saw an opportunity to transform farming by creating Farmers Pride, a platform to help rural farmers gain easy access to key agricultural inputs, services and information.

Farmers Pride is an online digital shop ensuring increased farm production and reduced effects of climate change. This is done by connecting smallholder farmers to relevant information, quality materials and credible agriculture services.

With over 100,000 rural farmers and 300 agro-dealers, the company is running with a vision to ensure a food secure future for Africa, driven by successful smallholder farmers.

George Chege


At the age of eight, George Chege had already developed a passion for the Agric space and began spending time at his grandmother’s farm where he reared animals and grew crops. He was also very fascinated by the engineering field and decided to combine the two interests to study Biosystems Engineering at the University of Nairobi.

Through his passion for agriculture and engineering fields, he created a technology company called Arinifu, to enhance poultry farming by making technological innovation accessible to both low and medium-income farmers. They have produced an environmental control device for chicks, called “the smart brooder” which ensures the conditions within the brooding space are kept within optimal levels. He is currently working on a software platform that allows farmers to have more accountability over their businesses, thus improving the traceability of food that gets to the consumer’s plate.

He believes that technological innovations can give farmers more actionable information and better control over their activities.

Olisaeloka Peter Okocha

PS Nutrac

Olisaeloka Peter Okocha is Nigerian, with a degree in economics from the University of Chicago. Okocha holds versatile knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of policies, Agriculture, Oil and Gas. In 2016, Okocha partnered with Samson Ogbole to create an Agric-tech company called  PS Nutrac.

PS Nutrac is a 4-year-old company based in Ikoyi, Lagos, that focuses on increasing food production and supply using climate-smart technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and aeroponics (soilless farming) to ensure food production is not seasonal, but available all year round. Since its inception, the company has been working tirelessly to close the 80 percent poverty level gap in rural Nigeria through increased food production and agricultural empowerment

He was highly frustrated by the fact that the African continent holds 60 percent of the world’s uncultivated arable land and is replete with water resources but the average age of the African farmer presently hovers above the age of 60.

Okocha plans to expand Ps Nutrac to other African countries and diversify into health, policy creation, youth empowerment, data, and climate preservation.

Abraham Natukunda

Interconnect Point

At age five, Abraham Natukunda from Rwanda spent a lot of time on his family’s tea farm. This would later lead him to nurture a dream of using technology to advance agriculture in his country. In pursuit of his Agric-tech desire, Abraham earned a Master of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University.

Capitalizing on his early exposure to the tea business and information technology, Abraham founded Interconnect Point, an Agrotech company that is highly focused on the African tea value chain. The enterprise applies an “eNose” and analytics device to supplement and determine optimum levels of tea processing stages that help tea farmers improve quality control and revenue.

Also, farmers benefit from reliable predictions, and actuation to boost tea quality, marketability and revenue for tea producers from each bushel of tea harvested.

Abraham believes that agriculture requires reliability in processing quality by leveraging technological capabilities beyond the scope of human eyes, noses, and hand tools as well as analysis. In his opinion, this would drive inputs to the manufacturing process irrespective of the weather to improve the sector in Africa.

His unique approach to solving African agricultural problems is a story that every aspiring agri-tech entrepreneur can tap into for motivation.

Daniel Asare-Kyei


Daniel Asare-Kyei is a Ghanian, whose father was a cocoa farmer. He later followed a similar path to become an agricultural economist, technologist and geo-information scientist with over 17 years of experience, which covers institutions in governments, the private sector and international development organizations.

Some projects focused mainly on agricultural projects and research that cut across food production, food security, and creating market access for rural farmers in Ghana.

Daniel pioneered research on Post-harvest Management and Inter-regional trade, which later became the blueprint of a mobile application called CHEETAH that supports the real-time tracking of road conditions and mobility along the West African trade corridor.

Further down in his life, Daniel capitalised on his colossal experience and intelligence by merging vibrant experience in Cheetah, agriculture, geo-information and technology to create an agricultural-driven company called Esoko. A platform that offers reliable details on market data enumeration and business development services. 

The mobile service is tailored to help rural farmers access data on automatic and personalized price alerts, buy and sell market offers, stock counting and SMS polling. Esoko is already present in 19 African countries.

Daniel believes Africa as a continent is less developed because it missed the first three industrial revolutions. “We can not afford to miss the 4th industrial revolution powered by information technology,” he said.

Ilyasu Rabiu Ishak

Agripreneurship Professional Services

Ilyasu Rabiu Ishak is an agriculturist whose work is currently focused on reinventing agriculture in northern Nigeria. Through the power of technology and innovation, he is committed to changing the narrative by providing agric support services such as market access and linkages, access to finance and training on good agronomic practices (GAP) to smallholder farmers and agric SMEs.

He established a solution-based organization called Agripreneurship Professional Services, which is aimed at using innovative frameworks to boost the competitiveness of Nigeria’s agricultural value chain by promoting food security, income generation, decent employment and wealth creation.

In 2019, Ilyasu coordinated a project under the Central Bank of Nigeria called the Anchor Borrowers Program. During this time, he supervised the cotton production of over 16,000 farmers (on 16,000 hectares) who were profiled and registered into 300 clusters. Despite challenges such as the misappropriation of funds, Ilyasu recorded a 97 percent farmer participation success.

Ilyasu believes that the future of agriculture in Africa is very bright given the rapid change in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.