LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) – When the coronavirus outbreak forced shops to close in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, kiosk store owner Funmilayo Akinola weighed up her safety against the need to make a living.
After deciding that she couldn’t afford to stop working, she faced the challenge of replenishing her stock as the pandemic has made it harder for informal traders to buy wholesale goods due to safety measures disrupting supply chains.
The answer lay in a logistics firm that provides an online marketplace where manufacturers and retailers connect.
Lagos-based Trade Depot delivered goods that she bought using the company’s app.
“(Without Trade Depot) I would have just locked up my shop, because my husband will not allow me to go inside the market to go and be hustling for goods,” said Akinola.
She now uses her phone to order stock delivered by vans or tuk tuks
“Shun analog,” said Steve Mantle, the founder and CEO of Innov8 Ag Solutions, a farm management venture that’s headquartered in Walla Walla, Wash. “Digital first. If a grower is still putting things in logbooks, they have to shift to it.”
Mantle and other experts and entrepreneurs surveyed the state of agricultural tech today during Washington State University’s Digital Agriculture Summit — and it’s clear that the field is in a state of flux.
The panelists gave a shout-out to technologies ranging from sensor-equipped drones and 5G connectivity to robotic harvesters and artificial intelligence. But at the same time, some