In recent years, small-scale farmers in Africa have faced a number of obstacles, from having difficulty acquiring inputs, to battling with getting their products to market. The growth of e-commerce has had a positive influence on agriculture, improving market efficiency and supply chains, together with job creation and additional business opportunities in both the agricultural and related sectors. The rise of e-commerce has even seen governments facilitate and recommend such platforms to connect farmers directly to consumers.
Due to the high level of transparency in digital agriculture value chains, e-commerce platforms enable farmers to access a greater pool of buyers, reduce food wastage, and potentially increase their income. However, e-commerce in Africa is faced with various obstacles to widening its net across the continent. The biggest issues include inefficient transport in rural areas, which increases costs and negates the feasibility of digital platforms for rural farmers. Another problem is unreliable produce availability, often unable to meet consumer demand. E-commerce companies in Africa also tend to lack the high levels of capital and resources necessary to provide logistics facilities and services that would allow them to expand their business to include more rural farming operations. Some of these issues can be addressed with investment in the so-called ‘last-mile’ connections, ensuring that there are good roads connecting rural farmers to their nearest transport hubs to get their products to market. Also, strengthening the e-commerce ecosystem to improve logistics, financing and digital marketing, and supporting rural farmers using e-commerce has the potential to significantly broaden the reach of rural agriculture in Africa.
Waxd provides innovative digital payment solutions that support and improve the rural agriculture industry.
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