Eastern Africa

Eastern Africa


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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Farming by Phone to keep up with the Climate

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.

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All Eyes on the Sky

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.

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Lovin Kobusingye, the accidental entrepreneur

Sharing actionable knowledge helps to turn ideas into reality. The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) has seen powerful returns from bringing together young entrepreneurial thinkers and doers from all over Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

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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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Blog articles

Digital banking services for rural farmers – scaling up and scaling out

Launched in 2014 and winner of the first CTA Agrihack Championship, Ugandan start-up Ensibuuko is helping savings and loans cooperatives to become efficient and bankable by digitising how they manage customer data and transactions, and piloting their shift to a cashless and paperless system. Well on its way to scaling up the business within Uganda, the digital company is now looking further afield to extend its reach beyond national borders.

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in Blog

Sustaining and scaling an online agricultural commodity marketing platform in East Africa

As Regional Manager for Structured Trading Systems at the Eastern Africa Grain Council, Samwel Rutto’s work entails promoting structured markets to facilitate trade and eliminating inefficiencies in the grain industry. Here he explains how his experience in the design and operation of an electronic grain trading system has taught him some of the pitfalls to avoid when trying to scale up digital marketing platforms for agribusiness.

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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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20,000 Ethiopian Smallholders Targeted with Climate Smart Technology

CTA together with Farm Africa has launched a new project to promote the resilience of smallholder farmers against climate change in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). The launch is the third and final of a CTA initiative that supports the scaling of proven climate smart agriculture technologies in Jamaica, Mali and now Ethiopia.

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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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Youth – the driving force for agriculture in Africa

Reeta Roy, President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, highlights the work of the organisation’s second Young Africa Works Summit.

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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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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

Making Agriculture Cool

At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool’. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.

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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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in Spore, Spore/Smart-tech and innovation and Spore/Trends

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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Background articles

A promising new continent-wide trade agreement for Africa

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.

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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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  • Dec 18

    High-level forum Africa-Europe: “Taking cooperation to the digital age”

    The President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, as the current chairperson of the African Union, and the Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, as Austria holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, cordially invite African and European heads of state or government, CEOs of major global companies as well as innovative…
    Bruno-Kreisky-Platz 1, 1220 Wien, Austria


  • Feb 12

    MUIIS Project concluding workshop

    The Market-led, User-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Service (MUIIS) runs from September 2015 to February 2019, in Uganda. The seed fund for the project comes the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) through the G4AW Facility of Netherlands Space Office (NSO) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) with own contribution from other partners.

    Kampala, Uganda