CTA awards grants to support blockchain use in agriculture across ACP
CTA has awarded four grants to support the use of blockchain in agriculture across Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP).
Rome, Italy, 21 June 2019. More than 90% of the market for digital services that support African smallholders remains untapped and could be worth more than €2 billion (US$2.26bn), according to a new report.
Nairobi, Kenya, 14 June 2019. Female agripreneurs across Africa will be able to connect, network and grow their businesses thanks to the new #VALUE4HERConnect platform. More than 400 women have signed up to Africa’s first online platform for female agripreneurs, launched today at a trade fair in Nairobi.
Wageningen, the Netherlands April 25 2019. Pitch AgriHack, the annual competition that awards young entrepreneurs in ICTs for agriculture (ICT4Ag) is open for applications. Now in its fourth year, Pitch AgriHack is an initiative by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) that supports ICT4Ag entrepreneurs through capacity building and funding to accelerate youth employment and agricultural transformation.
Abuja, Nigeria February 26, 2019. Hello Tractor and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU have announced a partnership to increase smallholder farmers' access to mechanisation services and youth employment opportunities. The partnership will enable Hello Tractor to expand its services across Nigeria and Kenya to connect 5,000 smallholder farmers to mechanisation services, as well as to create jobs for youth as tractor operators and booking agents.
The theme of this year's CWA is investment in the food and agriculture sector, and this is a critical constraint for many Caribbean producers. Marketed and distributed properly, quality fresh and value-added agrifood products can be dynamic sources of jobs and income – if only the people behind these enterprises can access the finance and business development support they need to turn them into profitable ventures.
The theme of the 14th edition of the Caribbean Week of Agriculture Investing in Food and Agriculture in the Caribbean could not be more apt or timely. Investing in agriculture is one of the most effective ways of reducing poverty and promoting sustainability. Yet financial commitment to this sector is still inadequate in the Caribbean, as in many countries of Africa, and the Pacific, despite the promise that agriculture holds for creating jobs, incomes, food security and protecting public health.
The growing demand for unmanned aerial systems – more commonly called drones – to improve crop management and agricultural productivity is creating opportunities for digital start-ups across Africa. As part of the project Transforming African agriculture: Eyes in the sky, smart techs on the ground, CTA is working with 35 drone enterprises in 19 countries to develop their business management skills in collaboration with professional services advisors such as Ernst & Young.
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are promoted as an equaliser of opportunities – but this is not always the case for women. Several African initiatives are demonstrating the critical contribution that information and knowledge can make to increase agricultural productivity and run a profitable agribusiness.
A major concern for smallholder farmers at the start of each season is to choose and source seeds, and with the advent of climate change, this is more critical than ever. As part of a CTA-led initiative to help farmers counter drought and other extreme weather events, seed fairs are being organised in Zambia to improve access to quality seed of stress tolerant maize varieties for smallholder farmers.
The stage is set for the 2019 iteration of the Pitch AgriHack competition. 20 judges have completed the evaluation of semi-finalist start-ups and have selected the finalists. The judges are industry experts (ICT and agriculture), entrepreneurs and investors coming from Africa and beyond.
There is hardly a document on African climate change issues that does not portray livestock husbandry in a negative light - responsible for emitting substantial quantities of greenhouse gases. While it is true that some livestock play a role in generating greenhouse gases, this is not the case across the entire sector. Chickens are among the few domestic animals that have a low environmental impact and carbon footprint, and research is moving forward to develop climate-smart poultry production for African smallholders.
In 2017, an assessment conducted by the International Journal of innovative studies in Science and Engineering Technologies in Kenya highlighted that with the use of ICTs, e-extension services can be availed to nearly the entire population of farmers in the country without the need for extension officers.