Microsoft to provide 14 Kenyan innovators with technical and business support

Jan 2, 2020

Microsoft will support fourteen Kenyan innovators as part of its pledge to the World Bank’s One Million Farmers Platform initiative.

Kenyan innovators one million farmers platform

The software company through its 4Afrika engine will provide technical and business assistance to fourteen agritech kenyan innovators. Through mentorship in business development, technology architecture and go-to-market strategies.

Kenya has the highest AgriTech intensity in Africa

The selected fourteen innovators displayed promising ideas during a two day disruptive agricultural technology challenge organized by the World Bank. Through those ideas they will  build technology solutions for the One Million Farmers platform.

The World Bank shares that ” Kenya has the highest AgriTech intensity in Africa. With approximately 30 percent of AgriTech start-ups in Africa operating in Kenya.”

The One Million Farmers Platform initiative will address some of the challenges faced in Kenyan agriculture. Which include access to extension, financial services, markets and data-driven applications. With the aim of improving productivity, profitability and resilience through disruptive agricultural technologies. The platform will target reaching one million small holder Kenyan farmers in the next three years.

Committed to supporting agricultural transformation in Africa

As part of the partnership, Microsoft will also empower participating Kenyan government ministries with technical skills development. Both through workshops and by skilled resources through its programmes.

Agriculture … has a high potential to be a data driven sector

Microsoft says “additionally, the innovators will have the opportunity to apply for it’s AI for Earth grant. A US$50 million programme that invests in solutions promoting sustainability around water, climate change, biodiversity and agriculture.”

Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of Microsoft 4Afrika shares that Microsoft is “fully committed to supporting agricultural transformation in Africa“.

Agriculture is a priority area of investment for us. Not only because of the enormous number of livelihoods it supports and the economic growth it drives. But also because it has a high potential to be a data driven sector”, she notes.

With an expanding population, there’s an opportunity to use technology to improve farm productivity, optimise resource use and increase crop yields to combat rising food insecurity. We’re fully committed to supporting agricultural transformation starting in Kenya – and the rest of Africa – and more critically, the innovators who are key drivers of this digital transformation.”