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In September 2019, in Brussels, CTA held an experience capitalisation workshop, highlighting four key areas of impact: advocacy, value chain, digitalisation and capitalisation.

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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.

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Trackball Global Technologies is one of Nigeria’s newest D4Ag companies. Founded in 2019, Trackball provides ICT solutions. Through its e-learning platform, AgriCo, entrepreneurs in urban areas learn best practices for growing crops and rearing animals from the comfort of their homes with interactive online classes tutored by experts in agriculture.

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Technological innovations and advances in digital farming continue to evolve at a rapid pace, increasing efficiencies in farming operations globally. However, the adoption of these new technologies by small-scale farmers is still low due to poor data infrastructure and a lack of business partnerships, limiting farmer organisations from capitalising on market opportunities.

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The Innovative Cooperative for Optimal Nutrition (ICON) was launched in March 2018 in Burkina Faso by 16 Ashoka fellows, with the aim of supporting the consumption, production and trade of local, highly nutritious food products through a new collective brand. Its Director General Lamisse Kandil looks back at the efforts made to establish the ICON Africa label as a guarantee of health and nutritional quality and a model for sustainable development.

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They say that the future belongs to the young. In Africa, the future of the continent’s agriculture almost certainly belongs to its youth. More than 60% of Africans are under 25, and every year, 10-12 million young people enter the job market in search of employment. Vast numbers work in farming in rural areas – agriculture employs almost 70% of the population – but the prospect of higher wages and a more secure livelihood is driving urban migration for many others.

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Founded in 2015, BenBen is a Ghanaian-based land tenure and property tech start-up. BenBen leverages distributed ledger technology (DLT) in building digital platforms for securing land-based assets and financial transactions in African land markets. BenBen’s vision is to build the digital infrastructure to enable African economies to fully unlock the socio-economic potential of their land and create ethical land markets.

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One in four businesses generally fail before their second year, and half do not survive beyond the fifth year; a situation experienced by many youth-led agri-enterprises in Kenya. This is a concern in a country which has a very young population coupled with a high youth unemployment rate. Economically viable agribusinesses could help to address this challenge; thriving youth-led agribusinesses are vital for job creation, make agri-enterprises attractive to the youth and hence could contribute towards alleviating youth unemployment in Kenya.

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Since 2016, CTA has been working with farmer organisations in Burkina Faso, Fiji, Kenya, Lesotho, Samoa, Swaziland, Trinidad, and Tobago and Uganda, to implement their Data for Agriculture (Data4Ag) project. The aim of the project is to investigate how the collection and effective management of farmer data can be used by farmer organisations to improve the livelihoods of their members.

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Building consensus among a wide range of players will play a critical role in shaping sustainable solutions for Pacific problems, and ensuring a sense of ownership for new policies and strategies. That is the message from a side event to the Pacific Week of Agriculture (PWA), "Building resilience in Pacific agri-food/nutritious systems: Towards regional alliances for action".