Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, March 31, 2023

Available recordings March 2023

30 March 2023
. Ethiopia CGIAR Initiative Launch: How science can contribute to food systems transformation - Recordings pending

30 March 2023. Enabling Environment for Digital Agriculture and Innovation in Ethiopia by FAO - Recording expected soon

30 March 2023. Scaling impactful digital agricultural services in the last mile - Recording soon
  • This webinar presented key results and lessons from the GSMA Innovation Fund for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains, an initiative that supported six grantee organisations in designing, developing, testing and scaling commercially viable digital solutions that address smallholder farmer challenges.
  • The webinar presented: AgroMall (Nigeria), Dialog (Sri Lanka) Koltiva (Indonesia) and Vodacom (Tanzania)
30 March 2023.  Agricultural data-driven strategies for development, food security, and resilience InfoPoint Hybrid Conference - Recording available

28 - 29 March 2023AGRA webinars - Recordings pending
  • 29/03.Soil Health and Carbon Farming. Can smallholder farmers afford it?
  • 28/03. Policy Interventions During Times of Crisis 
  • 28/03. Addressing non-tariff measures NTMs to Accelerate the Implementation of the AfCFTA
27-28 March 2023. Forum for the future of agriculture  - Recordings available

  • Keynote - Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President, European Commission
  • Inspirational speech - Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute
  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Institute for Integrative Biology in the Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich
  • Inspirational speech - Ranveer Chandra, Managing Director for Research for Industry, and CTO of Agri-Food, Microsoft - How we can use technology to better serve biodiversity?

28 March 2023. Investing in youth for a sustainable future in agriculture and Food Systems: A dialogue on the way forward - Recording available
  • This event discussed how the new EU-IFAD partnership agreements can be used to promote agro-ecological approaches and other sustainable agricultural practices among youth.
27 March 2023. INCiTiS-FOOD Practitioner and Expert Virtual Round Table Discussion  - Recording Expected soon
  • The INCITIS-FOOD Project ( is working on improving innovative circular food system in 6 countries across 3 African regions: East (Kenya), West (Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone) and Central (Cameroun and Gabon). These countries also host living labs that act as innovation accelerators.
22 - 24 March 2023. UN Water Conference side events  - Recordings available for:
  • 20/03. Groundwater: Potential and Pitfalls for Africa
  • 20/03. Groundwater: Potential and Pitfalls for Africa
  • 21/03. Water for Sustainable Development: Innovative Solutions to the Water Crisis in Africa by International Centre for Leadership Development Nigeria
  • 22/03 Water Management in Action for Productive, Climate Resilient Food Systems
  • 23/03 Resilient Rivers: Counting Fish from Forests: on integrated watershed monitoring and management.
21 - 23 March 2023. Kigali. Building Resilient African Food systems amid Health, conflict and climate disruptions. By Akademiya 2063. - Recordings available

16 March 2023. Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in a Global Crisis - Recording available
  • A new study finds that sustainable food system transformation can be achieved in the next decade in Ethiopia, Malawi, and Nigeria by increasing public investment by US$10 billion per year (on average from 2023 to 2030) and implementing a more effective portfolio of interventions that achieve multiple outcomes.

14 March 2023. The sound and vision of organic farming for rural audiences - by AccessAgriculture

14 March 2023. Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture Rural Development Water and Environment (ARDWE) - No recording available

14 March 2023. Useful applications of ChatGPT in knowledge work Recording available

Useful for:
  • First drafts of content (communication, FAQs, briefing notes, proposals, press releases, grant applications)
  • Summary of texts (protocols, publications, transcripts)
  • Translation“of complex texts (bureaucratic, legal, medical, scientific) in to easy language
  • Generation of ideas (names, applications, slogans, interviews)
  • As lectorate (grammar, stile, tone, voice, target audience)
  • As remedy for writer‘s block
  • For planning and analysis (schedules, analysis)
  • As tutor and training partner

13-15 March 2023. Regional Climate Smart Agriculture Policy Dialogue by FANRPAN - Recordings available for:

  • SESSION 3: Agricultural Technology for Resilience: Governance Framework and Practice

7 - 10 March 2023AERAP Africa-Europe Science and Innovation Forum - No recording available
  • The meeting addressed a range of themes, including Biodiversity Health, Medicine, Life Sciences, Geoscience, ICT, Digital Transformation, the Green Agenda, Women and Girls in science, Astronomy, reskilling and upskilling and Agri-food systems.

March 2023 Global Landscapes Forum: Finance for nature: What comes next?  - Recordings available for:

  • Addressing the complexity of directing sustainable climate finance to the Global South: The session highlighted solutions that the landscape partners found to address complex challenges encountered in landscapes in Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana and Indonesia.
  • Market-based mechanisms: Sustainable conservation finance from incubation to operations
  • How do we reach the sustainable finance tipping point?
  • Demonstrate what works: Better impact monitoring to scale nature-based investments
  • How to scale finance for ecosystem restoration: Solutions from the private sector and development partners
  • Accelerating nature-based businesses in the Global South
  • Cooperative carbon finance: enabling smallholder agroforestry at scale through carbon markets
  • Navigating the tricky terrain of NBS and blended finance
  • Closing the nature finance gap: practical solutions to mobilize private finance for landscape restoration
  • Sustainable livestock value chain investments for rangeland restoration
  • Addressing commodity-driven deforestation in investment portfolios: How financial institutions can drive sustainability and value creation
  • Catalyzing investments for landscape restoration in agrifood supply chains: Sharing experiences and tools
  • New ways forward: How can the financial ecosystem sustain and restore nature?

6 - 10 March 2023. 2nd International Conference on Biodiversity in the Congo BasinNo recording available

Publications March 2023

Digital agriculture:

AgriTech (2023) Improving Farmer Livelihoods Through Digitised Agricultural Value Chains # 135 p.
  • This report draws on business intelligence data from 1.4 million digitally profiled farmers and over 500 thousand service users. It shares lessons about business models, service design and user uptake and feedback, and assesses the perceived impact of digital agriculture services on farmer incomes and climate resilience.
  • Webinar: 30/03 Scaling impactful digital agricultural services in the last mile
Daniels, C., Erforth, B., & Teevan, C. (Eds.). (2022). Africa–Europe Cooperation and Digital Transformation (1st ed.). Routledge. # 247 p
  • This book offers a holistic analysis of how Africa and Europe can manage and harness digital transformation as partners in a globalised world.
  • The authors shed light on issues ranging from economic growth, youth employment, and gender, to regulatory frameworks, business environments, entrepreneurship, and interest-driven power politics.
  • Book launch: Africa–Europe Cooperation and Digital Transformation
Gouroubera, Moumounia , Okry, Idrissoua (2023) A holistic approach to understanding ICT implementation challenges in rural advisory services: lessons from using farmer learning videos THE JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION AND EXTENSION, # 21 p.
  • This paper examines the challenges of implementing Farmer Learning Videos (FLV) in Rural Advisory Services (RAS) through a holistic approach. The study focuses on a clear theoretical and managerial question – how do RAS manage FLV that does not easily fit into traditional models?
  • Related: Is digitalisation beneficial for small-scale producers? - blogpost 13/03
Paquette, D., Ontieri, E., Day, B., Schmidhuber, J. & Tripoli, M. 2023.
Agricultural technology ecosystems in East Africa – Taking stock in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Rome. # 90 p.

Paquette, D., Ontieri, E., Day, B., Schmidhuber, J. & Tripoli, M. 2023. Agricultural technology ecosystems in East Africa: Taking stock in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda – Summary. Rome, FAO. # 40 p.
  • FAO launched an initiative to assess the existing impediments for scaling innovation and technology in food and agriculture (AgTech) and to identify options to improve the enabling environment for AgTech-focused businesses.
  • Together with the Yield Lab Institute, FAO’s Markets and Trade Division (EST) developed a methodology for the assessment and applied it in three East African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
  • Related: Is digitalisation beneficial for small-scale producers? - blogpost 13/03

Food Systems

IISD (2023) Achieving Sustainable Food Systems in a Global Crisis: Summary Report # 39 p.
Wood, A., Queiroz, C., Deutsch, L., González-Mon, B., Jonell, M., Pereira, L., Sinare, H., Svedin, U., Wassénius, E. 2023. Reframing the local–global food systems debate through a resilience lens. Nature Food. DOI: 10.1038/s43016-022-00662-0 # 8 p
  • The broader societal debate on how to solve food system challenges is often focused on two dichotomous perspectives and associated solutions: either more localized food systems or greater global coordination of food systems

Agricultural trade

WEF (2023) AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa # 38 p.
  • This report outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa. 
  • Agro-processing has important implications for African food security, job creation and poverty reduction. Boosting it adds value to an already competitive agriculture sector.

Landscape restoration

IUCN (2022) A guide to investing in landscape restoration to sustain agrifood supply chains # 4 p

UNEP (2022) The State of Finance for Nature # 70 p.
World Bank (2022) Scaling up ecosystem restoration finance – A stock take report # 63 p.
  • This report provides an overview of the current challenges to and opportunities for increasing public and private investment in restoration.

The Research Translation Toolkit is particularly relevant to those supporting or implementing research projects who can benefit from step-by-step guidance on communicating key messages to the right decision makers.
  1. RTAC (2021) Communication Products Section guide 51 p.
  2. RTAC (2021) Stakeholder Analysis 50 p.
  3. RTAC (2021) Research-to-Action (R2A) Plan 53 p.

Digital Technologies and Tools for sustainable and resilient Agriculture and Food Systems in West Africa

31 March 2023
Digital Technologies and Tools for sustainable and resilient Agriculture and Food Systems in West Africa

Video recording forthcoming
  • The public webinar drew lessons on digital technologies and or innovations from the third-party projects of AGriDI and VaRRIWA as well as of other country or regional initiatives.
  • See the concept note # 4 p.
  • The OACPS implements, with funding from the European Union, the programme Strengthening R&I capacity in ACP countries and unlocking their innovation potential.
  • Presentation of AGriDI - Jonas Mugabe
  • Presentation of VaRRIWA - Alioune Faye
  • Presentation of the status of Digital technologies in Agriculture in West Africa (WA) - Jules Degila & Achille Assogbadjo
  • Presentation of a case study of the use of digital technologies in Agriculture in WA - Nogbou Georges Anoh
  • Q&A - Bonface Nyagah
  • Wrap up - Julius & Gerard
Shared resource:
AGriDI (2023) Accelerating inclusive green growth through agri-based digital innovation in West Africa (AGriDi) Project A baseline study # 60 p.

Final version forthcoming


Accelerating inclusive green growth through agri-based digital innovation in West Africa (AGriDI)

AGriDI is implemented in five countries of ECOWAS, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria through the deployment of ten local projects that are promoting digital technologies. 
  • See the AGriDI factsheet
  • To this effect, a baseline study was conducted to assess the ecosystem of digital technologies in
    the five countries. 
  • The main finding of the baseline study is that the rate of development of digital innovations in agriculture is closely linked to the efforts of each country in providing policies and strategies enabling access by the population (and especially by those living in rural area) to basic connectivity infrastructure (electricity and Internet). 
  • For example, the Mobile Connectivity Index (MCI3) in the five countries is still below 60, with the highest values recorded in Ghana and Nigeria that promote innovations more actively. 
  • Interestingly, all five countries have acknowledged the need to embrace a digital economy and developed either a separate document outlining their Strategic Digital Agriculture Plan (Benin and Nigeria) or embedded such strategies in their national development plans (Burkina Faso, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire). 

VaRRIWA – Valorising Research Results and Innovation in West Africa assumes that links between academia, the public and private sector, and civil society will be when strengthened will ensure that the results of research and innovation (R&I) are readily accessible and effectively disseminated, exploited, and used. 
  • VaRRIWA's activities will promote a dynamic Research and Innovation ecosystem that will enable actors who are active upstream (identification of R&I needs and 

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Ethiopia CGIAR Initiative Launch: How science can contribute to food systems transformation

30 March 2023
. Ethiopia CGIAR Initiative Launch: How science can contribute to food systems transformation

Recording pending?

CGIAR in Ethiopia includes 11 international research centers and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hosts CGIAR and serves as the convening center. CGIAR has transitioned to a OneCGIAR integrated approach for its efforts at country, regional and global levels to enhance synergies across our efforts with our national and regional partners, and other development partners towards greater impacts across food, land, and water in the climate crisis we face. CGIAR in Ethiopia works closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, National and Regional Agricultural Research Institutes, Ethiopian universities and both international and national development partners. Many collaborative efforts have been integral to the work of CGIAR in Ethiopia. Members of these stakeholder groups have participated in individual project planning processes over the past two years.

Objectives of the event to launch the One CGIAR in Ethiopia
  • To reflect on how CGIAR can leverage existing and planned activities to contribute to Ethiopia’s food systems transformation efforts and how this relates to the Africa Continental efforts.
  • To reflect on how Ethiopia’s experience could influence the work of the High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) on Food Security and Nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
The launch was carried out in conjunction with the HLPE FSN meeting in Addis.

Conference Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa

27 - 31 March  2023. South Africa. Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA ) Spring School Climate Change and Agriculture Conference 

Media and communication delegates from Zambia, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, and Ethiopia gathered in Cape Town

AICCRA strives to foster a climate-smart future for Africa, propelled by scientific research and innovation in agriculture.

The aim of the workshop is to expedite climate action by enhancing capacity and knowledge-sharing about the impact of climate change on African agriculture. It also aims to amplify key messages through partner and stakeholder networks to scale up climate-smart agriculture, creating a more resilient future for African smallholder farmers.


  • Unpack the impact of climate change on African agriculture and food systems.
  • Explore how we can transform African agriculture and food systems for a more sustainable and climate-resilient future.
  • Discuss important national, regional, continental, and global initiatives to promote climate-smart agriculture.
  • Investigate key developments, so that audiences can be prioritised.
  • Horizon scan upcoming policy events (e.g., COP28).
  • Connect AICCRA partners, exploring how they can support national or regional programs.
  • Understand partners strategic priorities, and how communications can support these objectives, highlighting any challenges that must be overcome.
  • Strengthen the capacity of participants in understanding how to develop communications strategies, and develop messages.
  • Share skills so that participants know how to use digital tools to create compelling content for communications channels (e.g., social media).

Global Network on Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs

The FAO Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC), previously known as Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM), is a pooled funding tool that allows resource partners to respond to development challenges in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The FMM sub-programme aims to establish a Global Network Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs in countries to mainstream digital agriculture innovation while promoting the digital transformation of agri-food systems.

In each country, the respective Digital Agriculture Innovation Hub will be designed considering the national strategic priorities, digital maturity in the country, and local needs. Then various national Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs will be interconnected to share knowledge, experience, and expertise.

The goal of the network is to interconnect national hubs by providing support and enhancing the capacities of farmers and value chain actors, with a focus on youth and women.

The objectives of the sub-programme is to:
  1. Create national digital agriculture innovation hub models to spearhead digital innovation programs in agriculture that meet local needs; 
  2. Develop digital agriculture solutions at the national or regional level to support the agri-food systems transformation; 
  3. Facilitate the creation of sustainable business models to support innovation projects through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) that allow for leveraging resources and maximizing impacts through multi-stakeholders engagements; 
  4.  Support the capacity development of government institutions to formulate digital agriculture strategies, policies, or programmes to mainstream digital innovation in agri-food systems and establish sustainable national digital agriculture innovation hubs; 
  5. Facilitate knowledge exchange and sharing within the national Hub and across the global network through organizing joint events and platforms.
The Global Network of Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs will synergize and complement FAO's current efforts in the countries, such as the Hand-in-Hand and the 1000 Digital Villages initiatives.

Status of the sub-programme
  • Recipient countries: Dominica, Ethiopia, Grenada, Morocco
  • Duration: 01 September 2021 - 31 December 2023
  • Contribution: 1 020 000
"The hubs (apart from Ethiopia) are in the start-up phase. Grenada and Domenica just launched last week. A global network is being built with the aim of creating a cohesive
Barbara della Rovere Communications Specialist at Governance and Policy Support Unit FAO 
The DAIH are funded by the FAO Flexible Voluntary  which is a fund that has European Donors in. Thembani Malapela Knowledge and Information Management Officer at FAO
Major results

The sub-programme will accelerate the digital transformation of agri-food systems increasing productivity, managing and mitigating climate risks, and diversifying rural economies in a sustainable economic, social, and environmental manner.

Producers and value chain actors will become more competitive by adopting innovative digital agriculture approaches and technologies t o enhance productivity and market access. In addition, government institutions will be supported to formulate or update digital agriculture strategies, policies, and programmes.

Dominica,Grenada 28/03 The Global Network of Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs and Regional E-agriculture for the Caribbean, is a post COVID – 19 Mechanism, which aims to promote resilient agri-food projects. These two projects will support ongoing initiatives implemented by the Government of Grenada with FAO’s technical support.

Morocco developed a Green-Generation 2020-2030 Strategy to address economic, social, and environmental issues in the agri-food sector. Through digital transformation the Moroccan government aims to improve the economic inclusion of young people in rural areas and enhance export markets. The country has supported digitalization projects that are in line with the priorities of this strategy. The new FMM Subprogramme will contribute to the adoption of innovative solutions and the reduction of the digital divide, which will enable the country to create additional jobs. See also MOROCCO: 10 start-ups rewarded for their innovations in sustainable agriculture


The sub-programme is coordinated by the FAO Office of Innovation and supported by a Task Force comprised of:
  1. technical officers in subregional or FAO Representation Offices; 
  2. technical officers from the FAO Headquarters' units with a mandate in the issues addressed by the sub-programme; 
  3. representatives from the PPA BP5 on Digital Agriculture; and (iv) a gender focal point.
19 December 2022. Event by the Global Network Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs on sharing experiences about Innovation Challenges highlights the need of cross-sector collaboration and investing to youth.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Building Resilient African Food systems amid Health, conflict and climate disruptions

21 - 23 March 2023
. Kigali. Building Resilient African Food systems amid Health, conflict and climate disruptions. By Akademiya 2063.

The AGRODEP  (The African Growth and Development Policy (AGRODEP) Modeling Consortium ) Annual Conference  was be organized by AKADEMIYA2063.

The hybrid event brought together key actors from the AGRODEP network, including members and partners, to exchange on cutting edge economic modeling and research tools, access to data sources, training, research grants, and networking opportunities to enable them to take a leading role in addressing strategic development issues facing Africa.

Since its establishment in 2010, the AGRODEP Modeling Consortium has sought to build a critical mass of first-class modeling experts within Africa’s research community that can respond to the emerging and long-term demand for analytical knowledge on the continent.

  • Session Framing Remarks - Dr. John Ulimwengu Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI 
  • Introduction to the Africa Agriculture Trade Outlook Portal (AfTOP) - Dr. Ismael Fofana Director, Capacity and Deployment, AKADEMIYA2063 | AGRODEP TEAM
  • Introduction to the new AGRODEP Networks [Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA), Impact Evaluation (IE), Sanitary, Phytosanitary (SPS), and Climate Change (CC)] and Presentation of the AGRODEP Membership Survey Report - Ms. Lea Vicky Magne Domgho Senior Associate Scientist, Knowledge Systems AKADEMIYA2063 | AGRODEP TEAM

Session IV: Climate Change and Resilience

  • Session Framing Remarks - Dr. Marco d’Errico Economist, RIMA Team Leader Agrifood Economics Division (ESA) Office and Emergency and Resilience (OER), FAO

Session V: Trade and Markets

  • Session Framing Remarks - Dr. Ismael Fofana Director, Capacity and Deployment, AKADEMIYA2063 | AGRODEP TEAM

Session VI: Empowerment, Gender, and Equality  

 Session VII: Micro Economic Analyses, Innovation and Technology 

  • Session Framing Remarks - Dr. Getaw Tadesse Director, Operational Support, AKADEMIYA2063

Session VIII: Impact Evaluation and COVID-19 

  • Session Framing Remarks - Dr. Nicola Francesconi KIT Royal Tropical Institute

AI tools open up a world of African languages

21 March 2023. African Business. AI tools open up a world of African languages 

With Africa’s population set to double by 2050, its immense market potential should attract investors and marketing professionals with a heightened awareness of the need to understand and engage with local languages.

Africa’s online learning platform industry is projected to reach $380m this year, according to Statista, and revenue is expected to grow 12.10% annually to 2027, encouraging a raft of market entrants.

Despite digital under-representation of African languages, the market has room for numerous players, each playing a crucial role in laying a robust foundation for language learning and cultural appreciation. This dynamic landscape is set to revolutionise the way businesses engage with African audiences, creating a more inclusive and vibrant future,” Mukindi Lambani, CEO of the edtech startup Ambani Africa. This firm utilises augmented reality (AR), animation, and gamification to teach young students seven African languages, while also offering access to online tutors.

The rapid advancement of AI tools has led to Silicon Valley giants investing in African languages. In recent years, major technology companies have recognised their value, driven by the increasing demand for localised content and services. Google actively supports Natural Language Processing (NLP) – an AI platform that enables computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language research for African languages, aiming to make online content more accessible and inclusive.

Twelve African languages are available on the Google Translate app on iOS and Android, including Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, three of West Africa’s most spoken languages. The web browser firm Mozilla has recently incorporated the Twi language into its open-source linguistic repository, Common Voice, which collects input from real-life language speakers. 

This initiative aims to improve speech recognition technology and to promote a broader range of local languages on the internet, challenging the dominance of European languages as the main – or sole – online communication method.

“With the emergence of grassroots AI organisations like AfricaNLP and Masakhane, this has also made it more accessible for the big tech giants to access researchers in those communities and build even better tools over time,” Vukosi Marivate, associate professor of computer science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
As more people speak some of Africa’s 2,000 living languages – roughly a third of all languages spoken in the world – and efforts to preserve this rich heritage in the digital age continue, the potential for monetising these languages and related products is on the rise. Progress in AI tools, which are now capable of handling extensive datasets and enabling software to interact in different languages, has unleashed new market possibilities.

The open source movement Ghana NLP offers smartphone keyboards designed to facilitate writing in African languages. In parallel, Kenyan startup Abantu AI has created a ChatGPT3-based speech-to-text tool for language learning, customer service, and translation.

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Monday, March 27, 2023

Enabling Environment for Digital Agriculture and Innovation in Ethiopia

30 March 2023. Enabling Environment for Digital Agriculture and Innovation in Ethiopia

This webinar is part of the Innovate Ethiopian Agriculture Webinar Series.

Ethiopia’s innovation ecosystem and digital capability needs to be increased to address the challenges it faces. FAO -Ethiopia in collaboration with partners are aspiring to play an enabling role in bringing together and supporting the regular dialogue between all stakeholders in agriculture by collaboratively working on a webinar series named “Innovate Ethiopian Agriculture” (IEA Webinar).

Ethiopia is a country of incredible diversity and promise. Innovation and Digitalization offers the ability to address various issues in important economic and social aspects of life as it fundamentally creates access to information and data and engenders the opportunity for unprecedented growth. The country has an advantage as a developing country to learn from the experiences of countries at the forefront of digitalization, while designing policies that meet needs and fit to own local contexts.

  • How do we mobilize and create spaces to digitalize important aspects of our lives?
  • How will we work together to craft solutions that enable us to progress?
  • How can businesses both support and benefit from this process of digitalization?
  • How can a country commit to and sustain a holistic digital transformation strategy?
  • How can partners   support innovation, experimentation, learning, monitoring, and evaluation?
  • Ultimately how can Ethiopia benefit from the digital revolution, and what must Ethiopia do to master the digital transformation age?

Many of the answers lie in disruptive innovations and thinking. It is believed that those who are at the forefront of their different fields shine insight and use innovative thinking to help overcome obstacles and find solutions to these questions.

Opening: Mrs. Yenenesh Egu. Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia Agricultural and Horticulture Extension Lead Executive Officer

Panel 1

  • Moderator Mr. Njinginya, Pie FAO Ethiopia 
  • Dr. Solomon Tessema. Ministry of Innovation and Technology 
  • Mr. Teshome Daniel Ministry of Education 
    He presented the output innovation grant (UNDP/UK). We are supporting a mobile phone application which sends an alarm message to coffee farmers with for instance that there is a plant disease around in their area.
  • Dr. Girma Mamo Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
  • Dr. Hassen Hussain Entrepreneurship Development Institute 

Panel 2: What are the supporting mechanisms for young and women innovators?

  • Mr. Teshome Daniel Ministry of Education
  • Dr. Hassen Hussain Entrepreneurship Development Institute 
  • Dr. Solomon Tessema Ministry of Innovation and Technology 
  • Mr. Teshome Daniel Ministry of Education
  • Closing: Ms. Yenenesh Egu Ministry of Agriculture

A Global Network on Digital Agriculture Innovation Hubs

Related: 7 July 2021. Digital Disruption in Agriculture and Digital Based Farm Services in Ethiopia
Ethiopia has committed itself to modernizing its agriculture, and has in recent years made significant investment in agro processing capacity, to add value to its agricultural products. In addition, it has made plans to increase irrigated agriculture, and mechanization to enhance production capacity in a range of agricultural commodities. 

These goals require an extensive and digitally enabled transformation, and use of ICT technologies. Among the things required for the shift are innovations in service provision, improvement in inputs, logistics, and reduction of post-harvest loss. 

From experience observed elsewhere, such innovations and ICT tools can transform both entire value chains and the relationships across these value chains. With coordinated and well thought and targeted interventions millions of farmers stand to raise their incomes, and businesses stand to benefit, while the overall efficiency of the agricultural and food sector can be improved. As agricultural transformation is one of the main pillars of our country’s commitment to change, how agricultural digitalization can help Ethiopia will take center stage in this session. 
  • Moderator : Dr. Eleni Gabre-Madhin, chief happiness officer, blueMoon 
  • Opening Remarks: H.E. Dr. Ahmedin Mohammed, State Minister- Ministry of Innovation and Technology 
  • Temesgen Gebeyehu, Digital Agriculture Program Director - Agricultural Transformation Agency 
  • Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director - Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association 
  • Dr. Addisalem Bitew, Executive Officer Civil informatics and Geospatial Process- ECDSWC 
  • Abrhame Endrias, Founder and Managing Director - Lersha

Scaling impactful digital agricultural services

30 March 2023.
 Scaling impactful digital agricultural services in the last mile

This webinar presented key results and lessons from the GSMA Innovation Fund for the Digitisation of Agricultural Value Chains, an initiative that supported six grantee organisations in designing, developing, testing and scaling commercially viable digital solutions that address smallholder farmer challenges.

The recording will be posted here

The webinar provided insights into service adoption and usage, showcasing the significant impact these services have had on farmer incomes, productivity, financial inclusion, and climate resilience. It featured a panel discussion with grantee representatives from AgroMall (Nigeria), Dialog (Sri Lanka) Koltiva (Indonesia) and Vodacom (Tanzania) to explore valuable lessons learned in service design, user journeys, and partnerships.
  • Emily Gamble Monitoring and Evaluation Manager GSMA
  • Lisa Chassin Insights Manager GSMA
  • Matthew Strickland Market Engagement Director GSMA
  • Nuwan Jayasinghe Specialist - Digital Impact, Group Sustainability Dialog Axiata PLC (Sri Lanka)
  • Galih Gede Project Manager Koltiva (Indonesia)

  • Fejiro Gbagi Project Manager AgroMall (see pages 124-126 in the report)

    Agromall is a Nigeria agritech company that works with smallholder farmers and agribusinesses to help farmers access a variety of affordable financial services that enable them to improve their practices and expand production. Agromall is building on its existing solution ADAP (AgroMall Digital Agriculture Platform), by providing increased transaction transparency to agribusinesses, farmer cooperatives and government intervention programmes. This will enable farmers’ financial inclusion through access to digital financial services (input credits and other segmented financial services including crop insurance) and digital procurement (direct market access for produce). The project focuses on rice, maize and soya bean value chains.

  • Yvone Bayona Head of Sales, IoT and Digital Platforms Vodacom (Tanzania) (pages 137-139)

    For the past 17years, Yvone has managed to grow and embrace changes in different roles within Vodacom, rising from customer service agent to various managerial roles. Yvone has developed a passion in emerging technologies and Agritech (how technology can change and transform agriculture sector). She is currently spending more time with farmers in the villages so as to understand their pain point and come up with customized solutions which will change farmer’s lives. 

Shared resource:

This report draws on business intelligence data from 1.4 million digitally profiled farmers and over 500 thousand service users. It shares lessons about business models, service design and user uptake and feedback, and assesses the perceived impact of digital agriculture services on farmer incomes and climate resilience.


Timely interventions in the agriculture sector are important. Because farmers’ activities are seasonal, timely procurement, input delivery and advisory messages are vital. Digital agriculture services may also rely on non-digital logistics, such as input supply and delivery, to meet requests for in-kind input loans and ensure farmers have their inputs in time for planting season. (page 108)

Farmers do not fully understand the value proposition of digital payments. Digital  payments can help farmers qualify for loans but, according to Vodacom, most farmers do not understand the connection. They have started raising awareness of the importance of digital payments in building a financial track record that could support loan applications.  (page 108)

Launching digital agriculture services is a challenge, whether for agribusiness and cooperative clients or B2C services for farmers. It is a seasonal sector in which an ageing farmer base has low digital literacy skills and low rates of smartphone ownership. (...) Human-centric design and iterating services leads to higher satisfaction rates among farmers and attracts more users, which are 
key to being impactful for farmers. (p. 110)

Agricultural data-driven strategies for development, food security, and resilience

30 March 2023
. InfoPoint Hybrid Conference: "Agricultural data-driven strategies for development, food security, and resilience" 

The recording is available here

Lack of access to data and limited transparency in production are hampering policy making and policy evaluation processes to develop sustainable agriculture and food systems.

The speakers will present two ongoing key initiatives, the Global Strategy to improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics (GSARS), led by FAO, and 50x2030 -a tri-party initiative of the World Bank, FAO and IFAD, working hand in hand to strengthen agricultural statistics systems in developing countries and address the agricultural data gap, setting the basis and providing the key tools to countries and the international community to address food security, achieve SDG 2 (Zero hunger) and monitor the impact of climate change on production and productivity as well as the adaptation strategies of the agricultural sector.
  • Leonard Mizzi, Head of unit Sustainable Agri-food systems and Fisheries, DG INTPA, EC
  • Neli Georgieva, Coordinator of the Global strategy to Improve agricultural and rural statistics, phase II, FAO
  • Abul Azad Kalam, Lead Resource Mobilization 50x2030 Initiative, Development Data Group, The World Bank
  • Alexandre Biaou, Director for Agricultural statistics at the Ministry of Agriculture of Benin.

AGRA webinars

28 March 2023
. Policy Interventions During Times of Crisis - by AGRA - Recording pending?

During times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine Crisis, countries often implement export restrictions on food and agricultural markets as crises policy measures to stabilize domestic prices, and to ensure food security. The impacts of restrictive trade policies affect consumer prices and welfare in global markets. 

In the long-term, export restrictions disincentivizes agricultural production that can negate short-term gains. The distributional effects of export restrictions significantly affect the poor in the food-importing countries by reducing trade and food supplies, raising food prices and reducing food and nutrition security.

The African Union Assembly, during its 36th Ordinary Session adopted the theme for 2023 as, “Year of the AfCFTA: Acceleration of Africa Continental Free Trade Area Implementation”. Critical to achieving this is addressing challenges around non-tariff measures (NTMs), which are the biggest bottle neck to intra-African food trade. 

This includes SPS procedures, import/export restrictions, state interventions in markets and inefficient customs procedures. As tariffs have come down, it has become increasingly apparent that a tangled web of rules, fees and high-cost services are strangling regional food trade in Africa.

29 March 2023.Soil Health and Carbon Farming. Can smallholder farmers afford it? - by
AGRA - Recording pending?

An expert panel of speakers will explore the ways in which soil health is a key enabler for crop resilience and performance, carbon sequestration and the overall achievement of food security practices.

Reflecting on the regenerative practices and cutting-edge technologies capable of restoring soil health, the panelists will analyze issues around accessibility, suitability and affordability amongst smallholder farmers – before determining the priorities for public-private sector engagement and action to foster progress.

Investing in youth for a sustainable future in agriculture and Food Systems

28 March 2023. Investing in youth for a sustainable future in agriculture and Food Systems: A dialogue on the way forward

This event discussed how the new EU-IFAD partnership agreements can be used to promote agro-ecological approaches and other sustainable agricultural practices among youth.

A panel discussion followed a conversation on policy priorities for youth and the future of food systems with EU Commissioner for International Partnership, Jutta Urpilainen, IFAD President, Alvaro Lario, and Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security, Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio.

  •  Thouraya Triki, Director, Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division, IFAD Introducing EU – IFAD recently signed agreements and their integration in IFAD and EU project portfolio, including: 
  1. Programme for Livelihood Resilience and Soil Health in ACP Countries (ILSA) 
  2. Global Programme for Small-scale Agroecology Producers and Sustainable Food Systems Transformation (GP-SAEP)
INTERACTIVE OPENING CONVERSATION: discuss policy priorities on youth and the future of food systems. 
  • Moderator: Genna Tesdall, Director, YPARD 
  • Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, European Union 
  • Alvaro Lario, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development 
  • Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio, Chairperson, Committee on World Food Security 
PANEL DISCUSSION: investing in, for and with youth including through agroecology, nature-based solutions, and soil health improvements to build long-term resilience and sustainable food systems 
  • Moderator: Satu Santala, Associate Vice President, External Relations and Governance Department (ERG), IFAD
  • Elizabeth Nsimadala, President, of the Eastern Africa Farmers Federation
  • Estherine Fotabong, Director of Agriculture, Food Security and Environmental Sustainability at the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) 
  • Fatimata Cheiffou, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Niger 
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo, Director General, Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) 
  • Kola Masha, Founder and CEO, Babban Gona
  • Oliver Oliveros, Coordinator, Agroecology Coalition 
  • Remarks Renate Hahlen, Deputy Permanent Representative, Head of UN Section, EU Delegation 

Forum for the future of agriculture

27-28 March 2023Forum for the future of agriculture
  • Forum for the Future of Agriculture (ForumforAg) has been contributing to the debate on agriculture and the environment in Brussels since 2008 and is now firmly established as the premier event of its type.
  • As well as the main event in Brussels, regional conferences every year discuss agriculture and environment at a national level across Europe.
  1. Kiebitz – Kiebitz supports companies to invest in natural capital and create high quality nature-based solutions that build biodiversity, sequester carbon and regenerate the ecosystem.
  2. Climate Farmers – Scaling regenerative agriculture, empowering farmers and field practitioners to fight climate change.
  3. Treely – gives forest owners in Europe a whole new way to profit from their forests. They help forest owners to manage the CO₂ potential of their trees to optimize carbon sequestration, bringing us all closer to a sustainable future.
  4. Wilder Land – Restoring Duch Biodiversity together with farmers.

How to set credits for ecosystem services on the international market?

Carbon markets are developing rapidly, and companies are lining up to purchase credits. This gives land managers new avenues for profitability through result-based schemes. But how are these credits generated? And is there a potential for biodiversity credits on the European market? During this session representatives of landowner associations open the discussion with experts to understand the direct impacts of the growing credit market from a scientific, global, and users’ perspective.

Innovation for the future of forests

The climate crisis has an increasingly devastating effect upon Europe’s forests. Their future will be determined by our capability to find innovative solutions, appropriate legal instruments and new business models for forest owners.

28/03 Main conference - See the recording

Can we afford not to pay the price of change in today’s geo-political and economic reality?

  • Keynote - Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President, European Commission

  • Dr. Martin Frick, Director, WFP Global Office Berlin
  • Sean de Cleene, International Food Systems Partnership Expert

Inspirational speech
- Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute 

"It all began with 12 high school students in Tanzania. And they were concerned about things that were happening in the environment. So I said to them, well look, let's get together and see what you can do. So we got together and we decided the main message for this program that came to be called Roots and shoots. Every individual matters, makes a difference has a role to play every single day. Secondly, because nature and societies have such interconnection that we would have every group doing three projects, one to help people, one help animals, one to help the environment. And so what began with these 12 high school students now has members from kindergarten all the way through university. It's in 67 countries and growing hundreds and 1000s of young people all working to make the world a better place."
"One way of taking action is to move towards a plant based diet because industrial agriculture is having such a terrible impact on the environment. So that's one thing and then to encourage farmers by buying their produce who are moving into more sustainable forms of agriculture, such as regenerative farming, and of course, growing organically that goes without saying, we're moving into permaculture moving into ways of farming without relying on these chemical pesticides and herbicides, and all this artificial fertilizer, fertilizer because these are the ways of farming that are working with nature, rather than against nature, and actually almost able to produce more on this kind of, because there's ground cover, which means water retention".

How to build a more resilient & sustainable food and agriculture system: what have we learnt from the energy crisis that enables us to overcome the challenges and exploit the opportunities?

  • Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, Director Strategy and policy analysis, DG AGRI, European Commission
  • Shari Rogge-Fidler, President and CEO, Farm Foundation
  • Professor Tim Benton, Research Director, Emerging Risks; Director, Environment and Society Programme, Chatham House
  • Eva Weijber, Farmer & Landowner, Sweden

How can Nature Based Solutions drive resilience and sustainability in the AGRI-food system and how do we better align incentives to accelerate change?

  • Dr. Jurgen Tack, Scientific Director, European Landowners’ Organization
  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Institute for Integrative Biology in the Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich
  • Dr. Boris Erg, Director, IUCN Europe
  • Dr. Johan Swinnen, Managing Director, Systems Transformation, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

  • Inspirational speech: Ranveer Chandra, Managing Director for Research for Industry, and CTO of Agri-Food, Microsoft How we can use technology to better serve biodiversity? 

  • How does digital agriculture work for small scale farmers? @ 5:38:36
  • Ranveer started the FarmBeats project at Microsoft in 2015. FarmBeats, includes Cloud, IoT & AI innovations for agriculture that enables seamless collection and analysis of data across various sensors, cameras, drones, and satellites.
  • He was recently recognized by the Newsweek magazine as America’s 50 most Disruptive Innovators (2021). Ranveer has an undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur, India and a PhD from Cornell University.
He referred to his research paper: 

Ranveer Chandra, Stewart Collis (2021) Digital agriculture for small-scale producers: challenges and opportunities # 10 p
"We want data driven agriculture to be democratized. We want the benefits of data and AI to reach every farmer anywhere in the world. And when we talk of that, we need to include smallholder farmers. That is one question we are conscious of. This is like with the digital divide, we don't want to increase the divide between big farmers and the small farmers and there are many smallholder farmers worldwide. 
There are over 500 million smallholder farmers worldwide and there was a recent paper I wrote with the Gates Foundation, where we have the statistics which talk about only 13% of the smallholder farmers out of the 500 million plus smallholder farmers use any form of digital agriculture. And then we look at the challenges around it. The challenge is why don't they use more digital agriculture? The number one problem is that internet access, most like around the world, they have 3 billion people who do not have internet access. And many of them are smallholder farmers. If you don't have internet, how will you even get data from the middle of the farm? How would you get them to benefit?"

14/03 Announcing Microsoft Azure Data Manager for Agriculture: Accelerating innovation across the agriculture value chain
  • With so much agriculture-relevant data generated across the farm—from sensors in the soil to satellites orbiting the earth—many organizations don’t have the resources to harness it effectively. Azure Data Manager for Agriculture helps break down data silos, allowing organizations to build solutions that provide predictive and prescriptive insights on soil health, changing weather patterns, waste tracking, carbon sequestration, and more.Microsoft Azure Data Manager for Agriculture is now available in preview.
  • With Azure Data Manager for Agriculture, agriculture input providers can accelerate solutions that empower farmers to adopt more sustainable practices. For example, Azure Data Manager for Agriculture is a foundational component for Land O’Lakes’ digital offerings, including the Truterra sustainability tool. Truterra provides insight into how different agricultural practices impact water, nitrogen, and carbon on a farm, and it enables farmers to track their soil’s carbon sequestration and participate in carbon markets.
  • Azure Data Manager for Agriculture is only one part of the Microsoft commitment to accelerating progress toward a more sustainable planet. With their next initiative, Project FarmVibes, Microsoft Research is building toolkits and AI models that are available in Microsoft Open Source to advance agriculture innovation in the scientific community across academia and business.

How can we act better: the case for improving biodiversity, soil health and water resilience?

  • Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, European Commission
  • Tasso Azevedo, Coordinator MapBiomas & SEEG initiatives, forester & former Chief of Brazilian Forest Service

  • Truke Smoor, Global Water Lead, Cargill
  • Mark Hall, Head of Sustainable Farming EAME, Syngenta
  • Andrea Erickson-Quiroz, Global Director for Water Security, Deputy Managing Director for the Food and Water Systems Priority, The Nature Conservancy
  • Dr. Claudia Sadoff, Executive Managing Director, CGIAR
  • Katharina Stenholm, Senior Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo Europe
  • Richard Heath, Executive Director, Australian Farm Institute
  • Žiga Vavpotič (see picture), Director of Partnerships LoginEko recording @ 7:15:00 
  • Ted Bilyea, Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI) Distinguished Fellow
The goal of LoginEko is to establish a new model of sustainable eco large-scale farming. The model of LoginEko  is data-driven and once LoginEko has proven that it produces healthy food for people, it will offer its farming model for free to everyone. Therefore LoginEko is developing software and a complete information system.
stem to support our model.
Data-driven farming for LoginEko means
  • data acquisition from all possible sensors
  • drone recordings to be up-to date with the conditions on all fields
  • all mechanization has centralized tracking and data acquisition in real time
  • advanced weather stations on all micro locations
  • tracking of soil microflora
  • tracking of all farming operations
  • central information system
  • Decision-making and learning based on collected data