CTA helped drive the agenda for digitalisation for development, supporting new technologies, farmer profiling and training as well as monitoring the uptake of digital tools in a flagship report, the Digitalisation of African Agriculture.
Until 2020, CTA supported the development and deployment of digital tools to help increase profitability and productivity, and strengthen business innovations. As part of this, CTA promoted precision agriculture solutions, including data gathering by satellites and drones, weather information and soil sensors as well as other data driven farming practices. CTA also supported access to new financial services for farmers including index-based insurance.
CTA facilitated digital profiling of more than 450,000 smallholders and supported more than 1,500 young ICT entrepreneurs since 2014. The institution also supported the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition GODAN project and provided expertise for the concept for an International Digital Council for Food and Agriculture. Other projects included blockchain projects, promotion of ICT-enabled mechanization and support to digital agriculture strategies.
Over the years, CTA has generated a wealth of knowledge on ICT and digitalisation for agriculture, including print publications, videos, social media assets, web services and applications, and conferences. CTA directly contributed to the EU’s Digital for Development policy. CTA’s 2019 Digitalisation of African Agriculture report, which identified almost 400 digital tools and 33 million registered users across sub-Saharan Africa, was the culmination of decades of expertise and was read by more than 25,000 people in the year after publication.
Part of CTA’s digital agriculture knowledge work, particularly around the Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report, has been handed over to Wageningen University and Research, which will continue to track trends in digital agriculture across Africa and beyond. The university, which works on digital technologies and fostering digitalisation in agriculture and food through research and policy support, is expected to scale up the monitoring of digital tools to help policymakers, companies, NGOs and donors working within the food system to support the transition to sustainable agriculture through digitalisation.