The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.
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Digitalisation

Increasing profitability and productivity for smallholder farmers through digitalisation and innovative business practices

Socio-economic impact and acceptance study of drone-applied pesticide on maize in Ghana

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The general consensus among agricultural stakeholders is that smallholder farmers need to become more productive and profitable on a sustainable basis. Unmanned aerial system (UAS) – or drone-based system – services can contribute towards these goals by bringing some of the tools of digital agriculture to agribusiness enterprises, including large and medium-scale holdings, and associations of small-scale farmers growing the same crop on contiguous areas.

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Lack of traceability is a major issue in the cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. The French NGO, Nitidae, believes that blockchain could provide a solution that would fight fraud and promote ethical production. With the support of CTA and blockchain specialists, Gaiachain, Nitidae carried out a project, from February 2019 to April 2020, with a cooperative in the Mé region of Côte d’Ivoire to develop and test a blockchain traceability application. Here is an initial assessment of the ‘Cocoblock’ experience.

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The CTA-funded project, Monitoring Family Farms Within CAPAD Member Cooperatives, aims to improve agricultural product development and marketing activities through the trial and use of ICTs. These technical developments are intended to better support farmer members of the Confederation of Agricultural Producer Associations for Development (CAPAD), in Burundi.

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hiveonline is a digital platform that builds financial trust. This young start-up works with NGOs, merchants and microfinance institutions to help support small business ecosystems. The goal is to help communities grow by giving them access to credit and markets. We spoke with Sofie Blakstad, CEO and founder of hiveonline, about her initiative and the role of blockchain technology.

Ghanaian technology company, Farmerline, CTA top 20 innovations in 2015, is empowering 100,000 smallholder farmers to become successful entrepreneurs by connecting them to agricultural information, services and markets. We spoke with Alloysius Attah, Farmerline CEO, on the challenges facing African agribusinesses, and the platforms that have supported the company along the way.

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After nearly 10 years as CTA Director, Michael Hailu’s mandate at the Centre will conclude at the end of February 2020. We spoke with him about how CTA has contributed to the advancement of agricultural transformation in ACP countries over the last decade, and how this important work will be continued in the future.

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The momentum of change and disruption brought about by ICT’s in supplementing or replacing traditional farming systems was not something that anyone predicted. Drawing on nearly 100 issues of CTA’s ICT Update magazine, this article examines how ICTs have come to represent modern farming and have driven access to agricultural information over the past 20 years.

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Tanzania declared its intention of shifting the national capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma in 1973. This declaration, along with the establishment of large institutions, fueled the expansion of Dodoma from a small town of about 45,000 people in 1973 to 410,956 people in 2012. This development has culminated in increased land demand for various urban and agricultural functions.

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Over the last 20 years, ICT Update has followed and reported on the rapidly changing landscape in ICTs for agriculture and digitalisation of the sector. The definition of digitalisation for agriculture, according to "The Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report, 2018-2019", “is the use of digital technologies, innovations, and data to transform business models and practices across the agriculture value chain, including production, postharvest handling, market access, finance and supply chain management".