Eastern Africa

Location:
Eastern Africa
 

Articles

Impact Stories

Exploring the transformative power of drones in Rwanda

On a windy day high up in the hilly country in Rwanda’s Northern Province, Paul Tuyisingize observes the rapid flight of a drone above his wheat fields with an expression of wonder and delight. “I’m very happy with this project,” he says as the drone’s multi-spectral sensor gathers information about the condition of his crop. “I think it will help me to increase my yields.”

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A farmer centric mobile app

Opening the iCow website shows, at a glance, some simple but brilliant thinking. Africa’s 1.1 billion population – including 700 million farmers and 200 million youth – 60% have access to mobile phones making mobile applications (apps) and SMS-based information services both a gateway to new types of clientele and a tool for spreading useful knowledge. This was Su Kahumbu Stephanou’s thinking behind the conceptualisation of iCow, a high performing mobile app that puts farmers and their information needs at the centre of its business strategy.

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Supporting young e-agriculture start-ups

During the last quarter of 2016, Pitch AgriHack’s 25 finalists – selected from a competitive group of 152 e-agriculture start-ups from across Africa and the Caribbean – participated in a 2-day training bootcamp, which focused on offering successful business services in e-agriculture, at iHub in Nairobi.

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Satellite-based crop advice

In October 2015, a consortium led by CTA begun developing a bundle of agricultural information products to be sold through SMS and smartphone apps to enable Ugandan farmers to access satellite-based crop advice. The project, entitled Market-led, User-owned ICT4Ag enabled Information Service (MUIIS), provides agricultural extension advisory services to farmers at the swipe of a screen.

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Mitigating the consequences of aflatoxin in Africa

Aflatoxins are toxic substances, produced by fungi, which colonise maize, sorghum, groundnuts, millet, cassava and chilies among other commodities in Africa. The consequences of contamination are manifold and detrimental for human health, food security and trade. CTA and the African Union Commission, Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), are currently seeking to engage the private sector and upscale viable solutions to tackle this complex challenge in African countries. 

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Blog articles

New experience capitalisation publications: We’re half-way there

Three experience capitalisation booklets have just been launched and are now available – each one of them with 12 stories describing and analysing the work of different projects and organisations in East and West Africa.

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in ICTUpdate

Space for food security

ICT Update spoke to Ruud Grim, senior advisor for applications and coordinator of Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) at the Netherlands Space Office, to find out more about the G4AW programme, which made the MUIIS consortium possible.

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News

Shaping ICT solutions together with smallholder farmers

Flexibility is a core feature of a CTA-led initiative linking small-scale farmers to satellite-based services that is helping them to improve crops yields and climate resilience in Uganda. As the programme moves into its third year, adjustments are being made based on feedback, first and foremost from the farmers.

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Enhancing development through cooperatives

Over the past 2 years, CTA has trained 460 leaders and managers of farmer associations and agricultural cooperatives to help them transform into viable businesses with greater capacity to integrate their farmer members into different agricultural value chains.

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Satellite data on your mobile

With access to satellite data, Ugandan farmers get crucial information about weather conditions and agronomic tips about their fields. See how CTA’s MUIIS project was featured in the Robo Sapiens programme of the Dutch broadcaster VPRO.

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Apps4Ag Database: Raising visibility and funds for innovative applications

A new platform launched by CTA - Apps4Ag Database - provides a comprehensive, up-to-date information for investors and development practitioners who want to support the integration of ICTs in food value chains. The responsive database helps users to compare different services provided by hundreds of web, audio, video and mobile applications in the agricultural sector.

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Communiqués

Young Pitch AgriHack entrepreneurs awarded during Presidential Summit

Kigali, Rwanda, 8 September 2018. Awards for the Pitch AgriHack 2018 were given today in front of African leaders: H.E. Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda; H.E. William Samoei Arap Ruto, Deputy President of Kenya; H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President, Republic of Ghana; H.E. Emmanuel Issoze-Ngondet, Prime Minister, Republic of Gabon.

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Opening Statement by Michael Hailu, Director of CTA

Opening statement delivered by Michael Hailu, Director of CTA, at the Blending4Ag conference, on Monday 7 November. The Blending4Ag conference is taking place in Brussels and is focusing on the strategic use of international and national development finance and philanthropic funds to mobilise private capital flows into agricultural value chains in developing countries.

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Opinion articles

Parminder Vir OBE: “Agriculture presents extraordinary opportunities for young African entrepreneurs”

After a distinguished 30-year career as an award winning film and television producer and private equity investor in the industry, Parminder Vir accepted Tony Elumelu’s invitation to join the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). As CEO, among other projects, she has worked to launch the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme.

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in Spore

The value of intermediaries

Hawali Lucy is a small-scale farmer in Namingo, Tanzania. She is part of a community of smallholder farmers using a mobile service called Agriinfo. Agriinfo, Sokopepe, We-Farm, and other services similar in nature, have been introduced in parts of Eastern and West Africa in the last few years, making it possible for farmers to access data for decision-making on their farms.

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Improving access to finance by farmers: what can central banks do?

The common feature of African farmers is that most of them practise small-scale subsistence farming. In the last few years, however, various interest groups started focusing on agriculture as one of the key drivers of rural development and the number of commercial farmers increased. Yet, most of them are still smallholders.

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Interviews

The agriculture of today and tomorrow is all about data

Dr Benjamin Kwasi Addom is an agricultural information specialist. As a Programme Coordinator at CTA he focuses on using new ICTs to support extension and advisory services.

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CTA and Young ACP Agripreneurs: interview with Michael Hailu

More than 10 million young Africans enter the workforce each year, and most of them work in agriculture. The time to transform the sector has arrived. We spoke with CTA Director Michael Hailu, who has been leading the organisation in a strategic orientation towards youth, most recently at the Young Africa Works Summit in Kigali.

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Reviews

CTA Handbook: An ICT Agripreneurship Guide

This Handbook provides a step-by-step roadmap designed to equip aspiring ICT entrepreneurs, with the information and knowledge they need to start an ICT-based business in the agricultural sector, outlining key opportunities and challenges that will be encountered along the way. Using real-life examples, it provides strategies and pathways for averting common mistakes faced by early-stage entrepreneurs.

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New directions for targeted outcomes

While reflecting on its 30-year history during its anniversary year in 2014, CTA was also busy making plans for the future. CTA's goal is to contribute to enhanced agricultural and rural development policies and inclusive value chains that promote food and nutrition security, prosperity and sustainable management of natural resources across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).

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Technical and scientific articles

Cryptocurrency: more education, less hype

John Weru is a Kenya-born writer, blogger and co-founder of PayHub East Africa. In a conversation with ICT Update, John talked about the rise of cryptocurrency, the potential of the blockchain to improve efficiency in the agricultural value chain in Africa, and the urgent need to educate people about the technology itself and the economy that it is creating.

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in ICTUpdate

The last mile

ICT Update spoke to Ronald Rwakigumba of Mercy Corps, who is responsible for the last mile of the Market-led, User-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Service.

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Background articles

Is the Internet of Things the future of farming?

In ACP countries, the use of smart ‘connected’ devices in agriculture is still at an experimental stage. Yet new projects are emerging, and global trends show how this new technology offers vital development opportunities.

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in Spore

Women entrepreneurs: key factors to success in agribusiness

Women around the world are overcoming barriers to establish profitable businesses in the agricultural sector. However, strong links to high-value markets, access to necessary finance and resources, and sufficient business training are essential requirements for women business leaders to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ and expand their agribusinesses to compete on an international scale.

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in Spore

Secondary towns – hives of activity and growth

Recognition of the importance and vitality of secondary towns is very recent. These dynamic commercial hubs provide rural areas with markets and opportunities for young people, whilst urbanisation and stronger rural-urban linkages are offering new and value added markets for farmers and entrepreneurs in fresh and processed foods.

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Strengthening Climate and Disaster Resilience in Africa for Sustainable Development

By 2050 global food production will need to double to combat hunger, malnutrition, and to meet the needs of a growing population. Data has the potential to contribute to solving agriculture and nutrition challenges. It is within this context and the GODAN Action project that CTA, RCMRD and partners will host a side event titled “Leveraging Weather Data for Agriculture and Nutrition Challenges in Africa” on 12 September 2017 during the the 2017 AMCOMET-Africa Hydromet Forum.

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Projects