Western Africa

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Articles

Impact Stories

Championing women and organic coffee farming in Jamaica

Shari-Ann Palmer
by Shari-Ann Palmer

Vibrant reggae music, athletic prowess, flavoursome food and white sandy beaches are perhaps what Jamaica is best known for. Also coffee – but not so much the organic version. For over 20 years, Dorienne Rowan-Campbell has been working hard to change that.

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Impact story

A project known as MUIIS (Market-led, User-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Services), led by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), links farmers to satellite-based services that help them to increase crop yields. Tips and instructions sent to mobile devices get as specific as ‘spread fertilizer between 5 pm and 7 pm’ or ‘winds expected at 3 pm’. Something farmers say have increased crop yields and contributed to food security.

Impact story

Smallholders in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are seeing their horizons broaden, as access to technology brings digital applications to agriculture. In Uganda, a project supported by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), has forged a partnership with Igara Tea Factory (IGTF) to transform cultivation through digital innovation.

Impact story

Marthe Montcho started her blog, L’Agriculture au féminin or Women in Farming, in October 2013. Despite initially knowing very little about blogging, she quickly became a success as the blog grew in popularity. Montcho’s desire to fill what she saw as an information gap and empower female farmers, particularly in her home country of Benin, led to her winning the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo), organised by CTA in 2014.

Blog articles

Guarantee funds unlock finance for agri-entrepreneurship in West Africa

Marnie Pannatier
by Marnie Pannatier

Timely completion of field preparation and grain harvesting is a major challenge for rice farmers across sub-Saharan Africa. A new business model led by young people is providing mechanised services to farmers for activities such as soil preparation and harvesting, helping them to intensify production and improve their income as a result.

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in Blog Blog

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When engaging with youth agripreneurs in Africa on the challenges they face, access to finance emerges as a key concern. Closer scrutiny of their business models generally reveals that young entrepreneurs are often not deemed creditworthy, or suitable for investment, primarily because they lack consistent and deep access to their perceived target markets. In short, their order books are lean and their access to markets is limited.

in Blog Blog

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Malick Diagne is the head of GeoRisk Afric, a company founded in March 2016. He attended training sessions on drone usage for precision agriculture organised by CTA and the French company, Parrot, as part of the “Eyes in the Sky” project. In this blog, using his 12 years’ experience in environmental and natural resource management, the Senegalese head of the company explains the fascinating and critical innovation opportunities that drones provide for the gathering of geospatial data.

in Blog Blog

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The ambitious objective of the “Eyes in the Sky, Smart Techs on the Ground” project, initiated by the Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), is to transform agriculture in African countries through the promotion of drone usage. I took part in the project as Director General of Cargitech Sarl, alongside several other African entrepreneurs.

Opinion articles

Background articles

Gender equality: Ag-tech’s potential to boost women’s empowerment

Tiana Cline
by Tiana Cline

Digital technologies are revolutionising agricultural value chains, providing improved access to inputs, finance, markets and weather information. With the right policies and programmes in place, agricultural digitalisation has the potential to facilitate women’s economic empowerment.

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in Spore Analysis

The new African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is expected to be a game changer, boosting inter-African trade, spurring manufacturing, and creating economic opportunities. But for its benefits to be realised, the details need to be negotiated; and Africa's leaders need to commit to AfCFTA for the long haul.

in Spore Analysis

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Agricultural innovations must have a more substantial impact to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 – which call for a concerted effort from the public and private sectors, as well as farmers and processors. To meet the SDGs, impacts at all levels of the agricultural value chain will need to be increased, with the involvement of all stakeholders in the sector.

in Spore Analysis

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Poor food safety regulations hamper Africa’s ability to engage in international food markets. But harmonised regulations, tailored infrastructure and increased public and private sector investment have been identified as interventions that could bolster the continent’s food safety capacity, and ignite its food export market.

News articles

Cycling for organic cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

Sophie Reeve
by Sophie Reeve

Innovative technologies in West Africa are reducing the environmental impacts of cocoa processing, and increasing farmer resilience to climate change.

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in A year in review 2018 News

Women play a vitally important role in a whole range of agricultural activities. According to the Pew Research Centre, women make up at least half the productive workforce in some African countries. In addition to their role as food producers, they are responsible for preparing food in the home and ensuring that their families have a nutritious diet. However, it tends to be men, rather than women, who undertake and mostly benefit from profitable activities along agricultural value chains.

in A year in review 2018 News

For the vast majority of people living in West Africa, cereals are an important part of their diet. They are also the staple crop for hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers, and boosting productivity and sales could do much to improve regional food security and tackle hunger. However, a lack of reliable information about market conditions and profitability are hindering the efficient operation of cereal value chains.

in A year in review 2018 News

Since the launch of CTA’s Pitch AgriHack Talent Initiative in 2013, over 1 million farmers and agricultural stakeholders have benefited from services provided by start-up companies involved in its annual competitions. Their ICT-based innovations have helped to raise more than €2 million from investors and development specialists.

in A year in review 2018 News

In many West African countries, the lack of employment opportunities in rural areas has led to an exodus of young people, both to major cities in the region and to Europe. This is a serious loss, as the young offer a potentially dynamic labour force at a time when the agricultural sector is desperately short of workers.

Interviews

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu: “Policymakers should see innovators as partners for progress”

Alex Miller
by Alex Miller

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, founder and CEO of ColdHubs, which provides solar powered cold storage facilities to farmers in Nigeria, shares his thoughts on green energy innovations and their place in agricultural value chains.

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Data Reports

Stimulating production through public-private partnerships

Aaron Akinocho
by Aaron Akinocho

By creating stronger value chains around ‘champions’ in agribusiness, the incubator programme, 2SCALE, is helping small-scale farmers enter local and regional markets and enabling an increase in the scale of production.

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Scientific Articles

Female drone pilots: Moving from an exception to the rule for women in Tanzania

Rose Funja
by Rose Funja

A young African woman thriving and growing her business in the male dominated field of drone piloting and data science. Rose Funja is also giving back by working to also to promote young womens’ participation in STEM.

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Communiques

Head of Finance

CTA seeks to recruit an highly motivated professional to manage the CTA’s financial services and the systems and processes related to the management of the Centre’s financial resources.

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Vacancy

CTA seeks to recruit a Finance Assistant for CTA's Corporate Services department, reporting to the Deputy Accounts & Budget.

Vacancy

CTA seeks to recruit a Financial Controller / Internal Audit to ensure that the expenditures or revenues are consistent with CTA's Financial Regulations & Budget and that the principles of sound financial management are applied.

Events

Transforming Africa’s agriculture: Eyes in the sky, smart techs on the ground

Recognising the opportunities offered by the drone-based systems, in 2016 CTA partnered with leading private sector operators, and assisted African ICT start-ups in acquiring the capacity to deliver UAS services in the framework of this project known as 'Transforming Africa’s agriculture: Eyes in th...

VALUE4HER: Strengthening women’s agribusiness enterprises in ACP countries

Women are actors in numerous agricultural value chains, offering huge potential for their participation in markets, but very few are involved at the end of the chain. Promoting women’s agribusinesses is therefore a viable route to increasing livelihoods and prosperity for rural communities. However,...