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The digitalization of African agriculture report 2018-2019

Technology, as we have seen in other sectors, is critical to affecting change and driving development. It is bringing countries closer together, reducing barriers to trade and offering a window of opportunity to ‘digital native’ youth entrepreneurs at the vanguard of innovation applied to different economic sectors. In agriculture, digitalisation could be a game changer in boosting productivity, profitability and resilience to climate change. An inclusive, digitally-enabled agricultural transformation could help achieve meaningful livelihood improvements for Africa’s smallholder farmers and pastoralists. It could drive greater engagement in agriculture from women and youth and create employment opportunities along the value chain. There has been significant growth in digitalisation for agriculture (D4Ag) over the last ten years. In 2019 both the European Union-African Union Task Force Rural Africa Report (TFRA) and the Communiqué from the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) highlighted the power of digitalisation in transforming agriculture. However, despite growth, progress towards D4Ag has been somewhat slow to serve the smallholders that produce 80% of Africa’s agricultural output. Nevertheless, the opportunity is there. Agriculture is expected to be a trillion-dollar market by 2030, ripe for innovation that will drive greater efficiency, sustainable increases in productivity, yield and income. At CTA we staked a claim on this power of digitalisation to more systematically transform agriculture early on. Digitalisation, focusing on not individual ICTs but the application of these technologies to entire value chains, is a theme that cuts across all of our work. In youth entrepreneurship, we are fostering a new breed of young ICT ‘agripreneurs’. In climate-smart agriculture multiple projects provide information that can help towards building resilience for smallholder farmers. And in women empowerment we are supporting digital platforms to drive greater inclusion for women entrepreneurs in agricultural value chains. In other words, at CTA, we know and understand the power to digitalise African agriculture. But we also understand that the evidence that will attract targeted investments to further develop D4Ag on the continent is lacking.

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Author: Michael Tsan
Other authors: Dalberg Swetha Totapally, Dalberg Michael Hailu - CTA, Benjamin K Addom - CTA
Organization: The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
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Year: 2019
ISBN: 978-92-9081-657-7
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Geographical coverage: Africa
Type: Report
Content language: English
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