The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) confirms closure by end of 2020.
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Eyes in the Sky, Smart Techs on the Ground

Project

Digitalisation

CTA helped drive the expansion of digitalisation in Africa’s agriculture by training and supporting 38 rapidly expanding, youth-led enterprises offering drone-based services such as crop health monitoring and precision agriculture.

Overview

Recognising the opportunities offered by drones, in 2016 CTA partnered with leading private sector operators, and helped African start-ups build capacity to deliver drone services. Young entrepreneurs were selected via a competitive processes, trained, and technically and financially supported in offering such services to farmers’ organisations, agribusinesses, government, international development agencies and other parties.

Impact

The companies supported by the project, have recruited staff, invested in new equipment, and increased their turnover and client portfolio, according to a survey conducted in December 2019. The project also played an important role in establishing an enabling environment for drone technology in Africa. As of 2020, nearly 40 per cent of African countries passed ad hoc drone regulations or complementary legislation and 25 per cent were drafting new regulations or revising existing ones, allowing more farmers to benefit from advisory services based on drone technology to improve their productivity.

Future

CTA's work on drone-based solutions will be taken forward by Africa Goes Digital, an association of digital entrepreneurs based in 21 countries across the African continent created as part of the project, which will continue and expand its support for Africa's young technology entrepreneurs. In 2019, the association served more than 200 farmers’ organisations, 65 government agencies and 29,000 farmers.

Meet the expert

Giacomo Rambaldi, Africa Goes Digital

Discover the most recent press coverage

The sky’s the limit if African agriculture can unleash the potential of technology - Business Intelligence, itweb.africa - 15 Jan 2021

African Agric Report: How the digitization of agriculture could help lift 2mn people out of poverty - CNBC Africa - Jan 18 2021

Project outputs

Small unmanned aerial system mapping versus conventional methods