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IBM to help African Agricultural startups with the Digital4Agriculture Initiative

The GIZ alongside the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is working on fully implementing the D4Ag program


IBM is working on the  Digital4Agriculture Initiative which hopes to promote African startups operating in the agricultural sectors while strengthening their long-term living conditions. This is achieved by supporting the long-term living conditions of small scale farmers focussed on improving quality and productivity. IBM will leverage their technical expertise to provide accurate weather data through The Weather Company, D4Ag is now leading 36 African companies to prepare better for a digital future.

It’s difficult to make accurate weather predictions in Africa on account of the limited IT infrastructure. Most small agricultural enterprises lack internet access and the right hardware. When DG4Ag provides high-resolution weather data to agricultural startups, only then can they make important decisions with utmost confidence.

Desiree Winges (a Make-IT in Africa consultant) is responsible for D4Ag and points out how they plan on helping local startups reach more customers as they develop new markets. Accurate data analysis helps predict and determine the right time for harvest. This helps them in data analytics, business modeling, and interoperability.

German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) alongside the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is working on fully implementing the D4Ag program within the ‘Make-IT in Africa’ project. The project aims at helping startups in the digital sector and emerging countries alongside European tech companies, associations, startups, science, and research NGOs.

The project will kick off in three phases involving individual e-learning, learning workshops, and business modeling.

GIZ and IBM experts have worked on this project for three years and come up with a digital coaching concept targeting startups offering agricultural services to farmers. The Weather Company provides high-resolution weather services.

The training will center on the use of tea leaves as the learning subject. Participants will analyze rainfall, crop size, and temperature. Part of the idea is to develop the correlation between the right weather conditions and expected yield.

Reliance on accurate weather information and up to date alert systems helps smallholder farmers grow their products healthily and sustainably. At the workshops, participants can co-relate data patterns. Weather data makes food healthier if the farmer adapts the right use of fertilizer.

The first round of the programme will train 36 startups across Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Nigeria. Participants retain a positive outlook on the future.

More information available at the CIO East Africa post


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