Nairobi, Kenya – 14 June 2018: Techno Brain has partnered with Microsoft Corporation to launch a digital agriculture platform in Africa to help farmers improve crop yields and increase income.
Smallholder farmers are the most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, with rain-fed agriculture accounting for more than 90 per cent of farmed land in sub-Saharan Africa. These farmers face many risks beyond their control, including drought, disease and pest epidemics.
The technology solutions being offered by Techno Brain will collate data; farm location using Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates, expected rainfall and weather patterns, land type and soil nutrition, and process the information on intelligent cloud to create insights that help farmers in Africa make better farming decisions.
Microsoft is already working with government and enterprises in India to help farmers with small hold farmlands and dependence on rain-fed agriculture and this partnership is now being extended in Africa. The pilots are starting in Malawi and Tanzania, in partnership with National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and ETG Farmers Foundation, respectively.
Farmers will receive insights on mobile via short message service (SMS) and voice platforms; best crops to plant, optimal sowing week, pest growth alerts, adverse weather notices, preferred harvesting time, market information and farming tips developed in collaboration with other knowledge partners and African Governments.
Tea pickers in Kenya: Photo: Courtesy
Speaking during the official launch, Anand Mohan, Chief Operations Officer Techno Brain said, “Agriculture is the main stay of African economies but has a lot of untapped potential. Many African smallholder farmers lack access to information and knowledge that would help them maximize agricultural production, and we believe that this platform offered by Techno Brain and Microsoft will empower African smallholder farmers to increase their yields and income significantly.”
Anil Bhansali, Corporate Vice President Cloud + AI Microsoft said “Microsoft’s vision is to use the power of our cloud and AI tools to help solve problems in core and infrastructural areas by enabling innovative and scalable solutions. The partnership with Techno Brain marks an important milestone in our ongoing efforts to help create sustainable livelihoods in Africa, India and rest of the world.”
This partnership between Techno Brain and Microsoft will enable smallholder farmers develop climate and market resilience. This will also enable development of new agribusiness models and make agriculture a viable livelihood for many farmers across the continent. We anticipate that smart and precision agriculture will further attract youth to farming.