The digitalisation of African agriculture report
This report (PDF) by CTA explores the gains digitalisation for agriculture (D4Ag) has made in Africa toward reaching its potential. D4Ag can support and accelerate agricultural transformation across the continent, sustainably and inclusively. A large number of players comprise this young sector, developing viable businesses with attractive financial models. Overal use by registered farmers and pastoralists remains low, however results suggest that D4Ag solutions could achieve transformative results. Several of the barriers (limited access to technology and connectivity) will begin to overcome. The reach of digital solutions will continue to grow and may include as much as 80% of the smallholder farmer population. A challenge of D4Ag developings is that the sophistication of D4Ag solutions has begun to outpace the readiness of entrepreneurs, users and government actors. Thereby, most companies are still working to develop a viable business model and the lacking infrastructure reduces the effectiveness of D4Ag. Lastly, the high degree of country-level and regional variation in investment expose uneven D4Ag growth. To further mainstream D4Ag, there are a number of recommendations: 1) Develop human capital at every level of the D4Ag ecosystem. 2) Drive greater business model sustainability. 3) Create greater impact by making D4Ag solutions more inclusive of women, other marginalised groups, and smallholders in geographies with relatively less D4Ag investment. 4) Invest in missing middleware infrastructure. Successful D4Ag solutions require access to a wide range of data in order to deliver high-quality services to farmers. 5) Invest in good data stewardship and design for the risks and limitations of digital system. 6) Invest in the D4Ag knowledge agenda. 7) Create an alliance of key D4Ag stakeholders to promote greater investment, knowledge sharing and partnership building.
A video with key findings of the report can be found here.