Central Africa

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Articles

Impact Stories

Africa’s Eyes in the Sky

“Most of Africa missed out on the Green Revolution that transformed agriculture in South and East Asia, but we’re not going to miss the digital revolution,” says Dr Abdelaziz Lawani, Professor of Agribusiness at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Dr Lawani is also the founder of Global Partners, a Benin-based start-up which uses unmanned aerial vehicles – or drones – to provide a range of services to farmers and others.

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Blog articles

Drones: supporting precision agriculture in Africa

 Jasmin Choake
by Jasmin Choake

The Cameroonian company Agribizz, a member of the UAV4Ag community, was selected to represent Cameroon in the project ‘Transforming Africa’s Agriculture: Eyes in the Sky, Smart Techs on the Ground’ commonly called ‘Eyes in the Sky’. Its Chief Executive Officer, Jasmin Choake, shares what the team learned from participating, as well as his opinion on the role that drones will play in the transformation of African agriculture.

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Blog

AFDB approves $280m to support Nigerian youths in agriculture

The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says the $280 million approved by the bank would be used to encourage Nigerian youths to go into agro-business. Adesina, represented by Dr Chiji Ojukwu, a Director in AFDB, stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan at the African Youth Agripreneurs (AYA) Forum organised by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan.

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Blog

Transforming smallholder farming through remote sensing

The STARS project explores ways to use remote sensing technology to improve agricultural practices of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia with the aim to advance their livelihoods. "STARS" stands for Spurring a Transformation for Agriculture through Remote Sensing.

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Blog

Scaling up nutrition a key commitment at the African Agricultural Transformation conference

On 21 October 2015, a High-Level Conference for an African Agricultural Transformation Agenda was held in Dakar, Senegal by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The event brought together Ministers beyond the agriculture sector including Finance, Economy and Rural Development and involved business leaders, civil society and technical experts from across the continent and abroad.

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Opinion articles

Farmers must be involved in the solutions offered by data sharing

 Jamila Abass
by Jamila Abass

Many governments and donor agencies, as well as the private sector work to solve the myriad of challenges smallholder farmers in Africa face every day, including, but not limited to, access to markets and agronomic support. More progress could be made, however, if the farmers themselves were invited to play a role in tackling their own problems – and mobile technology could be a way to make this happen.

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in Spore Opinion article

Tapping into the potential: Connecting Cameroon’s farmers to chefs

In Cameroon, chefs and farmers have little direct contact, so they fail to tap into the potential benefits that closer ties could bring. Hotels and restaurants often have to rely on imported food, or turn to other service providers and suppliers because chefs struggle to find a reliable source of local high-quality produce. In addition, authorities have seemed so far unwilling to do much about it.

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in Spore Opinion article

GMO and food security: a dangerous illusion

Hunger is wreaking havoc both in the North and in the South, in the USA and in India, which both devote significant areas to the cultivation of genetically modified plants (GMO). In 2012 a quarter of India’s population (217 million people) were suffering from malnutrition, nevertheless the country has a surplus agri-food trade balance.

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Background articles

New opportunities for agribusiness in e-commerce

As the popularity of online shopping continues to rise, local e-commerce and trade platforms provide increased visibility for smallholder producers in global markets.

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in Spore Analysis

Can blockchain plug Africa’s agri-finance gap?

A group of partners are developing a blockchain-powered ecosystem across Africa that they say will boost investment into agricultural infrastructure, allow smallholder farmers to borrow more cheaply and stimulate consumer activity in rural economies.

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News articles

Boosting Prices and Efficiency in the West African Grain Market

For the vast majority of people living in West Africa, cereals are an important part of their diet. They are also the staple crop for hundreds of thousands of small-scale farmers, and boosting productivity and sales could do much to improve regional food security and tackle hunger. However, a lack of reliable information about market conditions and profitability are hindering the efficient operation of cereal value chains.

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in Spore News

Rwandan farmers reduce losses with nutritious grains

A private processing company in Rwanda is working with thousands of farmers to train them in the production of fortified crops for processing into nutritious products. Their partnership is increasing profits for local smallholders as well as helping to combat Rwanda’s high levels of malnutrition.

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in Spore News

Pepper certification secures farmer incomes in Cameroon

A geographical indication label for a unique variety of pepper in Cameroon is improving the incomes of local farmers and ensuring the long-term future of the product. Recognition of the pepper’s quality and economic importance means it is one of only three African commodities with such a label.

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Interviews

It is essential to work with indigenous people on climate change adaptation

 Vincent Defait
by Vincent Defait

Ahead of COP24, taking place in Poland between 3–14 December, Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change, explains why indigenous knowledge must be taken into consideration.

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in Spore Interview

Enhancing traceability for informal trade

As the executive director and CEO of the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC), which brings together producers and processors, Gerald Makau Masila describes the barriers to formal trade for agricultural value chain actors. According to him, there is a need to invest in market infrastructure and to promote ICTs.

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in Spore Interview

Farming is a business, not just a way of life

Nana Adjoa Sifa Amponsah is the initiator of Guzakuza, a social enterprise empowering young women to create jobs, wealth and food security. As a graduate and agripreneur herself, Amponsah is on a mission to transform the mind set of young women to start considering agriculture as a business.

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Data Reports

Niche value chains: Profiting from neglected crops

 Sam Price
by Sam Price

Private sector investment in the cultivation of fonio, a type of millet grown in the semi-arid zones of West Africa, has opened an export route between Africa’s fonio-producing regions – including Guinea, Mali and Senegal – and the US.

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in Spore Field report

An entrepreneurial approach to dairy transformation

The Tadu Dairy Cooperative business model supports traditional women dairy farmers in Cameroon, and provides not only milk but processed dairy products. Increased milk production has not only helped to reduce imports of dairy products but has led to the establishment of many new shops selling feed for cattle.

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in Spore Field report

Know-how from China

A Chinese agricultural technology demonstration centre has just been set up at Kombé, south of Brazzaville, to help boost agricultural production by changing the farming techniques used by Congolese farmers.

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Scientific Articles

Brewing up new market opportunities in Cameroon

Through a public-private sector initiative in Cameroon, farmers are being provided with improved seed to enhance their production and supply local industries.

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in Spore Technical scientific article

A smart farming approach to agriculture

Precision agriculture promises better returns to investment and improved livelihoods for farmers around the world. One of the biggest changes in agriculture in our lifetimes, it is spreading to developing countries, where smart farming technologies, including data collected from satellites and drones, are set to fine tune the way farmers grow their crops.

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in ICTUpdate Technical scientific article

Gender and open data: Is there an app for that?

Wouldn’t it be handy if you could just switch on that app and see the agricultural (or any other) sector through a gender lens? And what if everyone else also working in the agricultural sector just magically started to use it? Would it make us do things differently, collect different data, push for the release and visualisation of other types of datasets, or would we make sure the data were more equally accessed and used?

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Events

Transforming Africa’s agriculture: Eyes in the sky, smart techs on the ground

Recognising the opportunities offered by the drone-based systems, in 2016 CTA partnered with leading private sector operators, and assisted African ICT start-ups in acquiring the capacity to deliver UAS services in the framework of this project known as 'Transforming Africa’s agriculture: Eyes in th...