Eastern Africa

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Eastern Africa
 

Articles

Impact Stories

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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How Participatory 3D Modelling has contributed to women's personal development in Madagascar

Rural women in Ampefy and Analavory are emerging from years of years of subordination and passivity, taking charge of their own development and overcoming numerous obstacles to their emancipation. Their key role in regional development is increasingly recognised by the administrative and traditional authorities, development partners and the local community. This article shows how participatory 3-D modelling helps women fulfil their potential.

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Blog articles

Input loans boost farmer take-up rates for satellite-based advisory service

An alliance between CTA and the Rabobank Foundation, the foundation of a large Dutch food and agriculture bank, is helping to extend credit to small-scale producers in Uganda. The partnership is driving adoption rates of an innovative ICT4Ag scheme pioneered by CTA, steering it towards its goal of financial sustainability in the process.

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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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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

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

Multiple uses: opportunities and challenges

Is data-driven farming the future of ACP agriculture? The short answer is it depends… It may well be, but different areas of agriculture are benefiting in very different ways.

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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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Light at the end of the tunnel for Malagasy fishermen

60-year old Tsiza Ernest is President of a ten-member fishermen's association (The Whale) in Sahoragna neighbourhood, in the east coast commune of Fenerive Est some 500 km from the capital. As the problems that are destroying fishermen's livelihoods threatened to overwhelm his association, the Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM) process provided timely confirmation of their achievements and prospects for the future.

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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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Syndicated articles

Dutch gov't to help farmers recover crop losses

The project worth €4.6m and funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Farmers who will have enrolled for insurance will be compensated when hit by drought. Compensation will be based on accurate information collected with the help of satellite phones through service agents.

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African countries to combat food crisis with open data

The Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) initiative together with the Government of Kenya and 15 African Ministers including from South Africa, Congo, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Ghana, have agreed to a declaration for comprehensive open data collaboration in the nutrition and agriculture sectors, to combat the global food security crisis.

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Unlock the potential of African entrepreneurs to accelerate Africa's industrial transformation, says the African Economic Outlook 2017

African governments need to integrate entrepreneurship more fully into their industrialisation strategies, according to the African Economic Outlook (AEO) 2017 released Monday, May 22 at the African Development Bank Group's 52nd Annual Meetings. In 2016, Africa's economic growth slowed down to 2.2% from 3.4% in 2015 due to low commodity prices, weak global recovery and adverse weather conditions, which impacted on agriculture production in some regions.

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Technical and scientific articles

An Innovation Platform Approach for Up-scaling Banana Xanthomonas Wilt Control Technologies in Western Kenya

The Innovation Platform (InP) has become an attractive approach for supporting agricultural development. An InP is generally established to foster interaction amongst a wide range of stakeholders including producers, researchers, development practitioners and policy-makers, around a shared interest.

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Projects