Digitalisation

 

Articles

Impact Stories

Africa’s Eyes in the Sky

“Most of Africa missed out on the Green Revolution that transformed agriculture in South and East Asia, but we’re not going to miss the digital revolution,” says Dr Abdelaziz Lawani, Professor of Agribusiness at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Dr Lawani is also the founder of Global Partners, a Benin-based start-up which uses unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – to provide a range of services to farmers and others.

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Impact story

Like many Caribbean nations, Barbados faces two distinct crises. On the one hand, the island now imports almost 90% of the food consumed. On the other, levels of obesity and associated diseases have risen, largely because people are eating processed products and calorie-dense foods, most of which are imported. Agritourism, which links farmers and agribusinesses to the tourist market, could play a significant role in tackling both these problems and CTA is working closely with local partners to encourage the growth of the local food market.

Impact story

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.”

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.

Blog articles

Creating global value through high-impact crowdlending for unbanked farmers

Jaclyn Bolt
by Jaclyn Bolt

One of the first applications for the incentive system of blockchain: ‘cryptocurrencys’ was its use in remittances. A digital currency without borders could be used to transfer money across nations at a faster rate and lower cost than conventional methods. Crowdlending platform, EthicHub, has explored and implemented these possibilities to provide smallholder farmers in developing countries with financial services. Jana Petkanic, from the Benelux office for EthicHub, talks about the company’s innovative blockchain project in Mexico.

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The journey to the Agrihack Lab in Tonga on 3-6 December 2018 started with a collaboration between the Centre for Flexible Learning at the University of the South Pacific (USP), and the National Food and Nutrition Centre, Ministry of Health and Medical Services in Fiji to address the current nutrition crisis in the Pacific.

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In September 2018, TraSeable Solutions was fortunate to be invited to participate in the CTA Pacific AgriHack Lab competition in Tonga to pitch our new initiative, the Integrated Mobile and Web-based Market and Transport Access Platform for Pacific Farmers. The award for winning the competition was a monetary prize that could be used to scale-up activities and expand the business. This event came at an opportune time to test our initial concepts and acquire useful feedback from experts in the agri-tech field.

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The Malaita Youth in Business Association (MYIBA), was one of the recipients of three awards during the Pacific Agrihack Lab competition in Tonga last year December 2018. The event sought to scale-up novel and existing ICT innovations to improve economic activities within agricultural value chains.

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Founded by Abraham Cambridge in 2014, The Sun Exchange is based in South Africa where the company is working to address a huge gap in funding for solar projects. Today, their solution is helping to power factories, schools and wildlife. In this article, Cambridge details Sun Exchange’s experience with blockchain technology.

Background articles

Profiling presents opportunities for smallholders

Sophie Reeve
by Sophie Reeve

Aggregating information about farm location and production in farmer profiles helps companies to tailor their support for smallholders, but how can this data be securely managed and transferred to rural farmers for their benefit?

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in Spore Analysis

The rapid evolution of ICTs is providing new opportunities for young entrepreneurs in agriculture. However, there are many hurdles to be overcome before these fledgling agribusinesses become profitable.

News articles

Harnessing the Power of Data

In sub-Saharan Africa, the yield gap – the difference between a crop’s potential and the real yield – is often high, with many farmers harvesting 25% of the amount of maize, millet or other staple crop they could be getting, using the right information, technologies and inputs. This helps to explain why only 20% of the food produced in many African countries is sold, as smallholder farmers need to keep the rest just to feed themselves. Hence low incomes and widespread rural poverty.

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in A year in review 2018 News

One of CTA’s most innovative digitalisation projects, the Market-Led User-Owned ICT4Ag-Enabled Information Service (MUIIS), made good progress in 2018, helping smallholder farmers in Uganda significantly improve their crop yields and profits. Launched in late 2015 with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MUIIS set itself the goal of increasing the yields of 200,000 Ugandans farmers by at least 25% and their profits by 20%.

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

For many years now, most small-scale farmers in the Pacific Islands have struggled to make a decent living. The shift from the traditional diet of fish, fruit, indigenous tubers and fresh vegetables to one based on cheap, imported, calorie-dense foods not only reduced demand for local produce but led to major health problems, with the Pacific now suffering from some of the highest rates of diet-related diseases in the world.

News

Over the last two years, CTA has supported the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO) to increase its visibility through the establishment of a new and improved website.

Interviews

Data on all levels is very valuable to the value chain

The Executive Director of the Secretariat for Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) is André Laperrière. Here, he describes what GODAN have to do to raise awareness about the potential of agricultural data and how to get policymakers and donors on-board.

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in Spore Interview

Martin Stimela, co-founder of Brastorne Enterprises, which provides ICT solutions for African agriculture, shares his insights on some of the core components that make up a successful business model.

Interview

CTA has recently interviewed Torin Gilalta, technical officer at the Caribbean Agri-business Association (CABA). CABA works to provide a private sector mechanism to facilitate organized, coordinated planning and development of regional programmes and projects in the agri-business sector in CARICOM.

Interview

CTA has recently interviewed Marissa Areli, Senior Data Officer at Women in Business Development Incorporated (WIBDI). WIBDI is dedicated to strengthening Samoan village economies and promote fair trade. Marissa Areli joined WIBDI in July 2015. Her work involves transferring farmer information, such as type of production, income status and village name into online reports, to help connect farmers to the market and tourists to the farmers.

Data Reports

Responding to market demand with farmer data

Vincent Defait
by Vincent Defait

A Samoan NGO has mapped small coconut farms to get a better understanding of farmers’ production capacity. It has also developed applications to provide farmers with local trading opportunities.

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in Spore Field report

Private technology developers across the Caribbean are creating market information systems to help farmers make better decisions in the field and link them to new markets. These emerging e-agriculture business models are improving crop production and marketing, and increasing revenues for farmers and developers alike.

Scientific Articles

Innovations reshaping smallholders’ market access

Technical solutions to food tracking, traceability and distribution are enabling agribusinesses along the value chain to better manage and expand their operations. Such innovations also help farmers and farmer organisations to establish and strengthen links with buyers.

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Events

Promoting inclusive, sustainable and responsible fisheries value chains in Seychelles and the Indian Ocean region

The fisheries sector in the Indian Ocean is a major contributor to food security and nutrition, employment and income generation. The artisanal fisheries sector, in particular, plays a key role in the supply of fresh fish for the regional domestic market and directly employs more than 130,000 people...

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...