Western Africa



Impact Stories

Marthe Montcho: Blogging for social change

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.

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Blog articles

Drones could become one of the main drivers of agricultural growth in Senegal

 Malick Diagne
by Malick Diagne

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.

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in Blog Blog

Using drones to boost agriculture in Burkina Faso

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.

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in Blog Blog

Accelerating youth agri-incubators in Africa - Lessons from Nigeria

Since business incubation/acceleration initiatives, especially in agriculture, are new to Africa, the adoption and the consistent recording and analysis of their impact is still work in progress. Prompted by youth employment or under-unemployment, incubator/accelerators chiefly support youth entrepreneurship development - from the ideation/innovation phase to assisting more seasoned enterprises seeking support for faster expansion.

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Opinion articles

Farmers must be involved in the solutions offered by data sharing

 Jamila Abass
by Jamila Abass

Many governments and donor agencies, as well as the private sector work to solve the myriad of challenges smallholder farmers in Africa face every day, including, but not limited to, access to markets and agronomic support. More progress could be made, however, if the farmers themselves were invited to play a role in tackling their own problems – and mobile technology could be a way to make this happen.

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in Spore Opinion article

How might the CFTA benefit West Africa?

Accounting for more than a third of Africa’s total population, West Africa is home to over 360 million people – 60% of whom are employed in the agricultural sector. The region has huge potential for both the intra-regional and global trade that are so crucial for economic growth and food security; yet intra-regional trade among West African countries lies well below that of other regions of the world, despite the presence of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), which aims to promote trade between regions.

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in Spore Opinion article

Technology is key to strengthening plant health systems

An estimated 40% of crops grown annually are lost to pests. Due to increased trade, swift international travel, tourism and climate change, pests spread more rapidly. This results in damage that reduces productivity and income, whilst also causing adverse effects on biodiversity, increasing farmers’ reliance on pesticides and vulnerability to climate damage.

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in Spore Opinion article

Women entrepreneurs are key to Africa’s economic growth

Over the past 30 years, significant efforts have been made to compensate the gender gap on the African continent. Some initiatives have been successful, others less so. One initiative that has made progress is the promotion of women’s right to economic freedom, particularly in terms of advocacy and awareness raising.

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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 Analysis

Strategies for scaling agricultural innovations

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.

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in Spore Analysis

Aligning Africa’s regulations with global markets

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.

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News articles

Mali ramps up mango export capacity

 Vincent Defait
by Vincent Defait

To help reduce significant mango post-harvest losses in Mali, fresh fruit packing and cold storage facilities have been established in the country.

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"Using digital technologies to catalyse development"

 Ousseini Issa
by Ousseini Issa

Ibrahima Guimba-Saïdou, CEO of Niger’s National Agency of Information Society, explains why the country is harnessing digital technologies to spur development.

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in Spore Interview

There is no blueprint for development

Program Leader for Agriculture and Food Security at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Renaud De Plaen, describes some of the requisite factors to design scalable development interventions.

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in Spore Interview

Levelling Africa’s trade imbalance

Dr Ousmane Badiane, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Director for Africa, highlights opportunities to boost Africa’s intra-regional trade as IFPRI and CTA launch the African Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018.

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Online platform improves the livelihood of small farmers in Ghana

Michael Ocansey, a computer science specialist, and Francis Obirikorang, a chemical engineer, developed the online platform, AgroCenta, won CTA’s 2017 Pitch AgriHack initiative, which gives youth entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their business services and accelerate the adoption of their services. In an interview with CTA, Ocansey talks about AgroCenta – which links small-scale farmers and farmer organisations in Ghana with a big online market to improve the prices they receive for their commodities.

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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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in Spore Field report

Supporting entrepreneurship in Africa

With a vision to economically empower Africa’s youth, the Tony Elumelu Enterprise Programme (TEEP) was set up in 2012. Beneficiaries are developing innovative agri-products and services and building more solid business structures with the knowledge acquired through the programme.

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Scientific Articles

Fighting food insecurity with indigenous plants

 Ousséini Issa
by Ousséini Issa

In Niger, a social enterprise is using local plants that are resistant to the arid climate of the Sahel to produce nutritious food. The result is better incomes for farmers and a preserved environment.

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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...