Microsoft and IFC collaborate to multiply digital products in the agricultural sector in Africa

To increase agricultural trade in Africa, the digital age will require changes to modernize supply chains and increase farmers’ productivity and income.

The Microsoft Group Africa Transformation Office (ATO) has signed a partnership agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to support digital transformation in the agricultural sector in Africa. The communique, released on Tuesday, October 15, informs that digital agricultural products will be introduced to support African agricultural enterprises and strengthen food security on the continent.

Digital technology can improve the functioning of key supply chains in the food system by increasing production, improving business practices, promoting traceability and increasing access to finance. However, the use of digital tools in the African agricultural sector remains limited, often due to infrastructure, accessibility, awareness and regulatory issues. said Henrik Elschner Pedersen, IFC’s director of production, agribusiness and services in Africa.

Despite rapid urbanization, agriculture-related activities still provide the livelihood of about 60% of the continent’s working population, accounting for 15% of total gross domestic product. According to forecasts by UN agencies, the land under cultivation should expand and productivity increase thanks to better use of technologies and implementation of intelligent and precision farming techniques.

According to Microsoft, digital tools such as AgBot and community training apps will be integrated into IFC’s agribusiness leadership program to provide better information, new technologies and management skills training to agribusinesses, farmers and cooperatives.

In the long term, the collaboration between the two organizations will enable farmers to truly harness the power of the digital economy. According to Kunle Awosika, CEO of Microsoft ATO, sensitive agronomic and business information through digital channels is delivered directly to smallholder farmers to help them improve productivity as well as mitigate risks from climate change and weather events.

Combined, the digital tools encourage improved, more sustainable and resilient agricultural practices, as well as greater efficiency in the use of resources “, he declared.

Samira Njoya

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