Saturday, September 21, 2019
Home > 4Afrika > Microsoft, AGRA, partner to co-create technology solutions in agriculture to improve food security in Africa

Microsoft, AGRA, partner to co-create technology solutions in agriculture to improve food security in Africa

AGRA

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In a report, continued use of outdated technologies and practices is the biggest hurdle to increasing farmer productivity in Africa.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.

We’re excited to work with AGRA in building locally-relevant technology solutions that are mindful of challenges local farmers face. Offering solutions to farmers and policy makers alike to deliver meaningful impact.”

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.

Agriculture is a priority sector of investment for us not only because it sustains some 70 percent of livelihoods. But because we believe technology can significantly contribute to the transformation of the sector.

Africa has many farmers with varying farming practices. We believe technology can augment this knowledge to improve crop yields.

Amrote Abdella

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“.

Going forward, digitalization will transcend every sphere of our life and it is highly likely that most of our farming investments will gain more yields as a result.
Overall, with more innovation, farmer-centric products and services can now be deployed with great success. The goal, ultimately, is to adopt digital technologies in ways that positively impact whole agricultural and food systems
.”

Dr. Kalibata
Sylvester Addo
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