Published as FARA Research Report Volume 5 No: 8 (2020).
The rapid spread of mobile phones and networks in rural Africa has stimulated the development of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)-based initiatives in the agriculture sector in most African countries. Much of the focus to date has been on offering services, such as information, marketing and financial transactions, to farmers via their mobile phone. Other promising applications of ICTs, such as big data gathering and analytics, social networks, robotics, the internet of things or remote sensing, are increasingly attracting attention, but have not yet been widely applied. The Objectives of this study was to identify opportunities for better integrating existing initiatives, with a focus on using ICTs to build the technical and commercial capacities of producer organisations to serve as competent intermediaries between the millions of dispersed smallholders and other value chain actors. The study also examined options for strengthening the enabling environment for providers of agricultural ICT solutions to develop and commercialise their applications, in particular those that leverage more advanced ICTs to transform the agriculture sectors in Africa.
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