A year in review 2017: Moving to next-generation farming

We have stepped up our efforts to encourage youth entrepreneurship, support climate-smart agriculture, and promote digitalisation to improve the productivity and resilience of agricultural value chains.

At CTA, we leverage the power of knowledge, innovation and technology, particularly information and communication technologies (ICTs), to make a difference to the lives of rural people across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

We have stepped up our efforts to encourage youth entrepreneurship, support climate-smart agriculture, and promote digitalisation to improve the productivity and resilience of agricultural value chains. CTA’s renowned publishing programme now has a far stronger online presence than in the past, providing ready access to much needed technical knowledge for millions of readers.

I am especially proud of the work we have done to inspire youth entrepreneurship. Through well-known talent competitions – such as regional Hackathons and Pitch AgriHack, held in West Africa this year – CTA encourages young innovators to showcase their skills and develop new products. Many have gone on to develop successful businesses.

These are not only creating employment, but providing a range of services that help hundreds of thousands of farmers to increase their productivity. This is vitally important, especially in Africa, where 60% of the population is under the age of 35.

Digitalisation has the power to transform agriculture and we see this clearly in our projects in Eastern and Southern Africa. The Market-led User-owned ICT4Ag-enabled Information Service (MUIIS), provides small-scale farmers in Uganda with agronomic tips, weather alerts and index-based insurance, all delivered via mobile phone. Within three years, the project aims to increase the yields and incomes of 150,000 farmers. Another climate-smart project in Southern Africa also provides ‘bundled solutions,’ including weather information, crop insurance and drought-tolerant maize, to a similar number of farmers.

These projects give you a flavour of what we have achieved this year with our renewed focus on the priority issues of advancing youth entrepreneurship and employment; leveraging digitalisation for productivity and resilience, and promoting climate-smart farming practices.

Michael Hailu, CTA Director