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Ready to soar over the fields of Sierra Leone, Agrimapic recognizes the country's potential

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How can a government determine which areas of a country to dedicate for agriculture?

How will a farmer know which fields require the most urgent care after a major storm?

How can an agribusiness manager monitor their farm’s holdings?

Utilizing land for agriculture in a truly effective and efficient manner requires accurate and up-to-date information about the area. Unfortunately, modern mapping and surveying expertise are often unavailable in Sierra Leone. This makes it much harder to assess and chart the apx. 45,123 km² of arable land in the country that still lies fallow, despite the country’s persistent food insecurity.

Existing farms, including some larger agriculture operations, still make use of paper maps to manage and monitor the yield. But since traditional paper maps are much harder to update, and natural occurrences and fluctuations change the terrain frequently, paper maps rapidly become obsolete, making it nearly impossible for Sierra Leonean farmers to make the most efficient use of their land.

Sierra Leone has abundant rainfall and natural irrigation channels. Weather patterns in the country have remained relatively stable over the past decade. Ample tracts of tropical soil that have been cleared, lie ready for planting. The absence of modern imagery, mapping equipment, and expertise is holding the country’s agricultural sector back.

This is why we were thrilled to have Benny Shimon, founder and C.E.O. of Agrimapic, join us on our Trade Mission. Agrimapic provides high-resolution aerial data and analytical solutions in Israel and internationally. The company’s technology has numerous applications, including 3D mapping, crop inspection, environmental monitoring, forestry, and construction. Agrimapic and tailors its products and services to the specific needs of each customer.

While Agrimapic is a global company, supporting projects in Asia, Europe, and the United States, it has yet to begin operating in Africa. Benny considers the Trade Mission to have been “a life changing experience in terms of seeing how agriculture is still practiced in certain areas in Africa and understanding the potential that modern tools and practices dramatically increase yields in Africa in General and in Sierra Leone in particular”

Agrimapic is currently working on a sensor that can collect data points about the crops in real time, provide analysis on their health, and automatically initiate an automated response if needed. These sensors can attach to most drones and fixed wing UAVs and works in areas lacking cellular and internet coverage. This makes it ideal in areas with limited ICT infrastructure.

“This was my first time in Africa,” Benny said.

“The Trade Mission gave me a chance to speak to executives from other companies already established in Africa, and I learned that so much is happening now on the sub-continent in terms of agriculture. I was also able to speak to senior Sierra Leonean officials and get a sense of their commitment to developing the sector and increasing yields. This Trade Mission made me begin to view Africa as a business destination.”

If you too want to get involved in driving Sierra Leone’s agriculture sector forward, please contact our Director of Agriculture Maoz Aviv at maoz@empowerafrica.com

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