Agriculture

Information & Technology

Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural transformation will be shaped by sustainable intensification, adaptation to climate change, and the rise of digital technology,” says Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development at Imperial College and Director of Agriculture for Impact.

Access to information remains a paramount challenge facing farmers in Africa today. Operating in outlying areas they suffer from an acute lack of infrastructure, including in many areas electricity. This results in no exposure to available new insights and technologies that could vastly improve their production output.

Farmers require access to information on new:

 – methods of irrigation,

– crop varieties

– protection against pests

– crop rotation modalities

– method of soil conservation

Stressing the value of information, “Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural transformation will be shaped in part,” says Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development at Imperial College and Director of Agriculture for Impact, “by the rise of digital technology.”

Improved access to information through digital technology platforms will help farmers to overcome many of their barriers to adaptation and growth.

Vulnerability to climate-related shocks – notably droughts and floods – vary by location, indicating the need for targeted, region-specific policy responses. Farmers who are informed and up-to-date with the latest technologies will be able to ‘weather the storm’.

Much of Africa is subsistence farming with a low-level of mechanization.

Subsistence agriculture is self-sufficiency farming in which farmers focus on growing enough food to feed themselves and their families. It would require a gigantic leap in mindset to transform the nature and scope of agriculture from subsistence farming to a more industrialised variety that can feed beyond the family to communities, nations, the continent and beyond.

Information & Technology is the key to opening the door to these opportunities.