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ICT Update nᵒ89: Data4Ag: New opportunities for organised smallholder farmers

© Edited by Yanick Bakker

Putting digital technology in farmers’ hands

For decades, farm data across ACP countries has been collected by governments, financial service providers and even mobile network operators, to provide insights into agriculture that can be used to shape and influence the sector from the top down. But with more than 40% of African households now belonging to farmer cooperatives – many of which digitally record and store their members’ farm data – decision-makers increasingly acknowledge that a more localised and inclusive approach to data may be the best way to transform agriculture.

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Influencing irrigation policy

As climate change causes extended droughts and increasingly erratic rainfall in Africa, efficient management of the continent’s water resources has never been so important. The pressure placed on Africa’s agricultural systems by the growing population furthers the need for smart irrigation strategies to ensure food security. However, 62% of Africa’s crops are currently rain-fed.

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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 following the launch of the Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018.

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Putting farmers’ experiences into practice

By examining the driving forces behind increased agricultural trade, at global and regional levels, the Africa Agriculture Trade Monitor 2018 provides insight into the transformation of African economies. The success of intra-regional trade and improved global exports are studied against the backdrop of increasing African imports.

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