DEAL

Microsoft, AGRA partner to transform agriculture

This is through the 4Afrika initiative

In Summary

•MOU to encourage the use of big data and AI in the digital transformation of AGRA.

•They are working with the Kenyan government and expanding to Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia. 

An agriculture official during a field trip in Singorwet location
An agriculture official during a field trip in Singorwet location
Image: FILE

Microsoft has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa(AGRA) to co-create technology solutions in agriculture. 

The collaboration between Microsoft, through its 4Afrika initiative, will support AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security for 30 million farming households across 11 countries by 2021. 

The MOU aims to encourage the use of big data and AI in the digital transformation of AGRA, working with the Kenyan government and expanding to Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia. 

The partnership has also provided initial support to AGRA grantees including the National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), East African Grain Council (EAGC), Amtech Technologies and the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) and supported SMEs. 

The latest partnership follows on from the initial collaboration announced a year ago during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).

During the past year, Microsoft 4Afrika and AGRA have worked on several engagements.

They include collaborations with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, the development of the KuzaBot chatbot to support the Village Based Advisor programme and farmers, and the development of the Food Security War Room in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Microsoft and AGRA are also partnering with the Agriculture minitry, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MoALFC) to accelerate the transformation of the agriculture ecosystem in line with the recently launched Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) for digitisation. 

This partnership forms part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in agri-tech across the continent, including the expansion of Farm Beats.

In addition, Microsoft has supported a number of African agri-tech start-ups and companies, including Subculture, Virtual city, N-, Frnds and Twiga foods.

 

“We look forward to next year to deepen each area of work we have begun together to draw on Microsoft’s digital architecture support on digital ecosystems and big data platforms,” said Vanessa Adams, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Chief of Party at AGRA.

Microsoft 4Afrika Regional Director, Amrote Abdella, said: “We’re excited to continue our work with AGRA in building locally-relevant technology solutions that are mindful of challenges local farmers face, offering solutions to farmers and policy makers alike to deliver meaningful impact.”