Maryann Gichanga, 33

Chief executive and Co-founder

Agritech Analytics

Maryann, the co-founder of Agritech Analytics, remembers growing up on a farm in Nyandarua with a mixture of nostalgia and dread.

Then, the rains were plenty, seasons were predictable and farm produce was guaranteed. Not so anymore, with a raging climate change that has upended farming seasons.

When Maryann founded Agritech Analytics, she desired to support smallholder farmers whose farming activities have been thrown in limbo by erratic weather.

"I can think, imagine, and implement anything. This gives me a burst of energy to do the things I desire."

‘‘I desire to end hunger in Africa. It is a work in progress. It gets better by the day,’’ she says.

The 33-year-old visionary is passionate about agriculture, which she grew up doing. ‘‘I was raised on a farm. Farming is in my DNA.’’

Maryann studied purchasing and supplies management at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and is currently a law student at Mount Kenya University. Her company provides climate-smart, affordable solutions that allow farmers to detect crop pests and diseases early for action. They also conduct soil health analysis to salvage their livelihoods.

‘‘The solutions include IOT (internet of things) devices and satellite imagery that give precise information on what to do on the farms,’’ she says.

She is also doing this to inspire ‘‘other young women who are uncertain about what to do’’ after school.

‘‘It is exciting to create a solution that people associate with. Nothing comes close to the satisfaction of watching your brand grow.’’

But it is the freedom to become what she wants that she is enjoying the most. ‘‘I can think, imagine, and implement anything. This gives me a burst of energy to do the things I desire.” Her biggest weakness is wanting to ‘‘see the full staircase’’ before making the step.

‘‘I always want to be certain about my moves. This, somehow, curtails me.”

James Kahongeh