5 Trends Set to Transform the Agricultural Sector in 2021
The agricultural sector in 2020 was dynamic for farmers and traders alike as the economy was hard hit by the pandemic crisis that forced foreclosure, unforeseen losses and unexpected profits for some.
This led to the slow adoption of new ways of conducting business by living and learning from the pandemic. Here are 5 ways farming in 2021 will be different from other years.
- Increased Farmer Interaction with Consumers
If 2020 was anything to go by, farmers have increasingly come to understand the need to directly communicate with their consumers. During the national lockdown, social media became a vital channel of conducting business, advertising and securing new clients to stay afloat. In turn, this created a web of local community links where consumers gained a deeper understanding of the produce they consume and farmers involved.
- Crisis Preparedness
Creating a farm emergency plan is a 2021 resolution every farmer should think about. Forecasting on disasters reduces the impact a crisis may have on both crop production and maintenance. In 2020, farmers who did not have a contingency for post-harvest management and safe storage facilities suffered losses of excess produce wilting in the farms due to low demand and supply.
- Entry of New Players
Closure of businesses and agricultural farms saw hundreds of thousands lose their jobs in 2020. As a result, more people and especially the youth indulged in small-scale and commercial agricultural practices to survive. This move has shown promise for the agricultural sector and perception change of the industry as a “retirement venture”, to a full time rewarding job.
- Incorporation of Technologies
As technology continues to advance other sectors, its impact is taking effect in the agricultural industry. Farmers are increasingly embracing technology and letting it work for them by using apps like Nuru, to stop the spread of diseases and drones for irrigation and monitoring crop health by collecting data that informs the farmer where they need to maintain.
- Practice of Climate Smart Agriculture
With most agricultural farms in Kenya being rain-fed, climate change possesses a great risk to food security. The Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture strategy 2017-2026 aims to increase productivity of food, mitigate against erratic weather patterns and other shocks such as pests, diseases and drought.
For farmers, this will involve the use of seeds that have been improved to withstand climate change and avoid the risk of crop failure by being adoptive, tolerant and recoverable from climate change.