The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.
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Open data in agriculture are ultimately to benefit farmers with shared and newly developed expertise

© CTA

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The CTA-funded project, Monitoring Family Farms Within CAPAD Member Cooperatives, aims to improve agricultural product development and marketing activities through the trial and use of ICTs. These technical developments are intended to better support farmer members of the Confederation of Agricultural Producer Associations for Development (CAPAD), in Burundi.

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In the face of recurring famine and drought in Karamoja, Uganda, the area is receiving enormous developmental interventions by developmental agencies, NGOs, governments, private companies. Most if not all of these initiatives share one aspect in common lack of transparency and accountability, a scenario where organisations are not sure if the interventions reach the target beneficiaries.

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hiveonline is a digital platform that builds financial trust. This young start-up works with NGOs, merchants and microfinance institutions to help support small business ecosystems. The goal is to help communities grow by giving them access to credit and markets. We spoke with Sofie Blakstad, CEO and founder of hiveonline, about her initiative and the role of blockchain technology.

Ghanaian technology company, Farmerline, CTA top 20 innovations in 2015, is empowering 100,000 smallholder farmers to become successful entrepreneurs by connecting them to agricultural information, services and markets. We spoke with Alloysius Attah, Farmerline CEO, on the challenges facing African agribusinesses, and the platforms that have supported the company along the way.

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Four young Ghanaians armed with technological insight and passion, are making it their mission to revolutionise agriculture in their country. The group, that met in 2018 during an innovation challenge competition, pooled together to form one of Ghana’s youngest agritech companies focusing on maximising greenhouse farming efficiency through innovative solutions.

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The Salon International de l’Agriculture et des Ressources Animales (SARA) – the international exhibition of agriculture and animal resources – is one of the biggest agricultural events in West Africa. The most recent exhibition, held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 22 November to 1 December 2019, ran under the theme "Smart agriculture and technological innovation: What prospects for African agriculture?" At the event, CTA awarded two digital solutions in the first-ever Agreen Start-up competition.

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After nearly 10 years as CTA Director, Michael Hailu’s mandate at the Centre will conclude at the end of February 2020. We spoke with him about how CTA has contributed to the advancement of agricultural transformation in ACP countries over the last decade, and how this important work will be continued in the future.

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According to Livestock Research for Rural Development (LRRD), dairy farming is the single largest sub sector of agriculture in Kenya. Kenya’s dairy sub sector contributes about 8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with an annual milk production of 3.43 billion L. Although smallholder Dairy farmers make up to 80% of total dairy producers and produce 56% of total milk in Kenya, they are constrained by factors including low technical skills on husbandry practices and lack of reliable statistical information on milk market outlets.

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The momentum of change and disruption brought about by ICT’s in supplementing or replacing traditional farming systems was not something that anyone predicted. Drawing on nearly 100 issues of CTA’s ICT Update magazine, this article examines how ICTs have come to represent modern farming and have driven access to agricultural information over the past 20 years.

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Tanzania declared its intention of shifting the national capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma in 1973. This declaration, along with the establishment of large institutions, fueled the expansion of Dodoma from a small town of about 45,000 people in 1973 to 410,956 people in 2012. This development has culminated in increased land demand for various urban and agricultural functions.

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The more farmers there are, the less there is to eat; this is an historic pattern that has become an economic law worldwide, and still describes African reality today. Most agrarian countries, where agriculture is (one of) the most important contributors to national income, are characterised by serious food insecurity and poverty. In such countries, the ratio of consumers: producers is unfavourable and consequently farmers’ incomes are too low to invest in more productive systems.

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Binkabi is a platform for the issuing, trading and financing of commodities on the blockchain. CEO and founder, Quan Le, spoke with us to explain the ins and outs of the application and provide some advice for others interested in taking up blockchain technology.

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"The Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report, 2018-2019" reveals that the uptake of D4Ag solutions among women in sub-Saharan Africa is low. Though up to 50% of farmers there are women, D4Ag registration among them is approximately 25%. However, at least one young woman is changing the narrative by not only using but creating a digital solution to promote food security. Caroline Pomeyie is co-founder and CEO of ProFish Ghana Limited, a start-up with huge potential to transform the fishing industry.