Microsoft through its business and market development engine in Africa, 4Afrika is partnering with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The collaboration will see Microsoft co-create technology solutions in agriculture. Supporting AGRA’s digital transformation initiative to improve food security in Africa.
In a report, continued use of outdated technologies and practices is the biggest hurdle to increasing farmer productivity in Africa. Microsoft will therefore work with AGRA to build locally relevant technology solutions. Solutions that are mindful of challenges local farmers face says Microsoft 4Afrika director Amrote Abdella.
The partnership is part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in agritech across Africa. This year the company introduced a $100 million Africa Development Center investment with sites in Lagos and Nairobi. The center according to Microsoft will help to advance AI innovation in agriculture.
Technology to transform sector
The collaboration will see Microsoft supporting farmers to adopt new technologies through digital training. As well as help them develop digital skills in agriculture through an internship program. Microsoft will also support policy advocacy and government engagement around the design of national agriculture digitization strategies in the region.
Microsoft will begin to expand its FarmBeats initiative across Africa, having piloted it in Kenya.
AGRA’s digital transformation in agriculture wants to improve food security for about 30 million farming households across 11 African countries by 2021. These are Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.
AGRA president, Dr. Agnes Kalibata says “digital technologies are now firmly with us. It is increasingly important that we keep finding use of such innovations in our farms“.