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April 12, 2022 | 2 minutes read | Technology | 487 |
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Omishtu-Joy, a joint venture between Debo Engineering and Melkam Technology, specialises in providing testing resources and equipment for optimising crop productivity.

Debo Engineering's joint venture with Melkam Technology, Omishtu-Joy, has placed first at the annual Africa AgTech and Inclusive Insurance Challenge of the World Bank's Global Index Insurance Facility programme. The company will receive USD 25,000 as prize money.

Omishtu-Joy is a tech startup that develops tools and resources to optimise crop productivity. The company's products are designed to provide enhanced PH, fertiliser, moisture, humidity, and temperature testing capabilities.

With the increase in financial capacity that winning the challenge allows, Omishtu-Joy has the impetus, at the very least, to boost its capabilities with more integrated artificial intelligence systems as well as a more extensive database to match crops to farmlands. 

These are a few of many updates that Debo Engineering and Melkam Technology plan to implement to better their products and services as well as the country's agricultural sector. Considering the impressive nature of their work so far, there seems little doubt that they will leave a lasting impact. 

Omishtu-Joy alone today works directly with 5,500 farmers and provides training seminars and courses to an additional 4,300; a total of 9,800 farmers. By the end of 2022 executives expects this number to grow to 18,000.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the top three contestants (Rural Farmers Hub from Nigeria and Agrotech+ from Kenya came in second and third), was the vast potential of the agrotechnology sector. 

The emergence of companies like these, and the over two hundred other entries that the challenge received, ensure that the continent's main source of commerce and employment keeps pace with the modern world. 

It is lost on none that agriculture is by far the single most important economic activity in Africa. It provides employment for about two-thirds of the continent’s working population and for each country contributes an average of 30 to 60 per cent of GDP and about 30 per cent of the value of exports. 

Nonetheless, arable land and land under permanent crops occupy only about 6 per cent of Africa’s total land area. This disparity is one that has the potential to be remedied by employing the technological tools that Africa's startups are looking to flood markets with.

The technology that companies like Omishtu-Joy are looking to flood markets with is likely going to be a determining factor in whether or not these discrepancies are addressed.

Agrotechnology Innovation Challenge Food Issues
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