Tech giant IBM has announced that it is supporting the Digital4Agriculture initiative (D4Ag), which aims to foster African start-ups in the agricultural sector and strengthen the long-term living conditions of local small farmers by increasing productivity and quality. With the help of digital expertise from IBM Services and access to accurate weather data provided by IBM’s The Weather Company, D4Ag has successfully launched and is helping over 36 African agricultural companies become better prepared for the digital future.
Reliable weather forecasts are very difficult to make for Africa’s agricultural industry due to IT infrastructure unavailability. Small agricultural enterprises not only lack Internet access and suitable hardware, but existing data is often unreliable or difficult to process. By making high-resolution weather data available to agricultural start-ups, DG4Ag is providing valuable information to small farmers that can help them make important decisions with greater confidence.
“We want to help local start-ups to reach more customers and develop new markets. To this end, we provide them with basic knowledge in the areas of data analytics, interoperability and business modelling,” said Desiree Winges, Consultant at Make-IT in Africa and responsible for D4Ag. “We also want to promote cooperation between start-ups and platform operators to fully exploit the opportunities of the digital world.”
On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) is implementing the D4Ag programme within the framework of the project “Make-IT in Africa”. This project is designed to promote the start-up scene in the digital sector of developing and emerging countries together with primarily European technology companies, start-ups, associations, research and science, and non-governmental organisations. IBM joined the Make-IT Alliance in 2017 as part of its #GoodTechIBM programme.
“Small farmers are the backbone of Africa’s food supply and their success and quality of life depends upon having reliable weather forecast data and insights,” said Florian Scheil, Account Executive Public Sector, IBM. “We are proud to provide African farmers with weather information and services access to help them better manage and improve their crop production.”Click below to share this article