The African Continental Free Trade Area has been established, which will make trade on the continent easier than ever before. There has also been a growth in the middle class in Africa which means that there are new markets for your products.

Combine this with the explosion of technology on the continent and its impact on agriculture and there is no wonder that now is the time to invest. South Africa, specifically, has taken advantage of these trends leading to various business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Read on to discover all the different ways that you could spring into this sector and reap the rewards!

Agritech

Agriculture has always been driven by technology – from tractors to fertilizers – and nothing is changing. Current technological advancements are opening new areas of investment and business opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Innovative technologies are being developed all over the continent. Building a business that takes advantage of this is sure to lead to future dividends. Any systems that provide specific solutions to small scale farmers will be in high demand.

In South Africa, technology has been identified as the key to transforming the agricultural industry. If you are able to create a business that finds a solution to a farming problem using technology, there will be huge room to grow.

Internet connectivity in particular has transformed farming activities. GPS mapping, drones and Geographic Information systems have also allowed for increased yields on farms.

Smallholder farming

Any opportunities in Africa that appeal and focus on small scale farming will be worth investing in as a lot of the continent is still made up of these despite global trends.

The inputs that can be afforded by many of the very large agricultural farms need to be provided to those that are farming on a smaller scale. There are also farmers across the continent that would benefit greatly from improved access to markets through the establishment of operations like coops.

Technology has been part of solving the problem of accessing markets by connecting people through online platforms. There are farmers across South Africa that are joining virtual cooperatives in order to get better deals with suppliers.

Sustainable farming

Sustainable farming practices have become a growing sector within global agriculture and South Africa is no exception. Any business that is connected with green farming practices is sure to a have a real impact, while also ensuring that their business is truly relevant.

Businesses that provide sustainable service to agricultural businesses or are themselves farms using sustainable practices will become more and more important.

Urban farming ventures are part of this, as South Africans are starting to solve the problem of food distribution and grow food where it is most needed. Permaculture is also an exciting field that is gaining popularity, as is growing crops using hydroponics.

Crop farmers are also turning to crop rotation in order to cause less damage to the land on which they grow, while livestock farmers are focusing on natural animal grazing practices.

Room for entrepreneurship

What these developments in agriculture have led to is… opportunity.

This is a sector with so much potential for business. If you keep on top of the trends, you can position your venture to be part of the future of agriculture.


By Bruce Hakutizwi, Director of North America for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses.