Business

Growing use of ICT in Agriculture Transforming Africa

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malady http://ca-uqam.info/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/latex.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>The report’s editor, about it Dr Harold Elletson, search said African agriculture is changing.


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“it is steadily becoming more efficient. Much of the change is happening at the level of the smallholder farmer and it is being driven by the increased use of ICTs, which are helping to boost yields, increase choice and improve living standards,” said Harold.


“Our survey shows that people working in the agriculture and food sector realise how useful ICTs can be. They are bringing new solutions to a whole range of farming problems – for example, promoting more efficient irrigation methods or better livestock management and even encouraging the development of self-sustaining funding solutions,” he added.


“ICTs are making a massive contribution to growth in African agriculture and, as this sector still employs nearly 70 per cent of the workforce, it is very significant in terms of making a reality of the African Union’s vision of a transformed continent.”


The eLearning Africa Report 2014, which interviewed people working in the agriculture and food industries throughout Africa, found a higher level of optimism about the future than in almost any other sector.


It also established that the most common uses of ICTs in agriculture were for the acquisition of knowledge about better farming practices and markets.


Survey respondents said that ICTs could most benefit farmers through “greater efficiency” (49 per cent ), “better sales” (27 per cent), bigger yields (12 per cent) and “better land management” (10 per cent).


A typical example of a successful ICT-related project in the agriculture sector is the mFarmer Initiative Fund, which started as a partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and now provides farmers in 11 sub-Saharan countries with information and advisory services via their mobile phones.


The eLearning Africa Report 2014’s findings chime with the conclusions of a recent World Bank report on ‘ICTs for Agriculture in Africa’, which said that “the strategic application of ICT to the agricultural industry, the largest agricultural sector in most African countries, offers the best opportunity for economic growth and poverty alleviation on the African continent.”

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