Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, November 9, 2023

ICTforAg 2023

7-9 November 2023. ICTforAg 2023 Three days of insightful discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities took place online through three tracks: Inclusion, Innovation, and Inspiration. Additionally, there will be ICTforAg+ regional events happening around the world.

ICTforAg is an annual convening where agrifood system stakeholders, technology experts, and enthusiasts gather to share knowledge, find solutions, and form partnerships to address challenges in agrifood systems across low and middle-income countries. In 2022, the online ICTforAg event attracted over 3,000 participants from 123 countries. Starting from 2023, CGIAR will be hosting the event series to support the theme of Cultivating Inclusion, ensuring that digital innovations equitably benefit all agrifood systems actors across low and middle-income countries.

Extracts of the programme

07/11 Agricultural Development in the Age of AI

The potential impact of AI on human civilization is hard to overstate -- never before has humanity faced a rival in intellect. But, how specifically will AI affect global agriculture? Technology's "Law of Amplification" offers a few predictions, at least to the extent that global economic systems continue largely as they currently are: AI will make agriculture for well-resourced entities more efficient, but it will have little direct impact on low-income smallholder farming, where severe financial, physical, and absorptive constraints are the bottleneck. Implications for policy will be considered.
Headshot of Kentaro Toyama
Kentaro Toyama
University of Michigan School of Information
Femi Adekoya
Integrated Aerial Precision
Dina Esposito

07/11 Transforming food systems: The power of interoperability and partnerships

The need for a more efficient and sustainable agricultural sector in Africa has never been more pressing, as demand continues to feed the continent’s growing population. Digital transformation creates an opportunity to adopt initiatives necessary to meet this demand, but countries vary widely in the ability to identify, and share, what works, and how to scale digital technologies for greater impact. A cross-sectoral dialogue is needed to continue understanding how interoperability, in the form of data use, multi-stakeholder partnerships and technical systems are critical to improve the value proposition of agricultural transformation in a rapidly digitizing world.
Beverley Hatcher-Mbu
Development Gateway: An IREX Venture
Omar Bakari
Tanzania Data Lab
Ousmane Koné
Development Gateway: An IREX Venture
Oluwafunmibi Asunmonu

07/11 Data-driven agro-advisories for Africa - the AKILIMO and AgWise story

A session on the experiences, learnings, key outcomes and sustainability plans for the AKILIMO tool, an output of the BMGF sponsored African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) project.
Thompson Ogunsanmi
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Samson Oguntoye
Notore Chemical Industries Plc
Meklit Chernet
CIAT Bioversity Alliance

07/11 Powering the Mechanization Revolution in Smallholder Agriculture with AI

Hello Tractor connects tractor owners with excess capacity with farmers who are in need of these services. Community-based agents aggregate and book tractor services such as tilling, planting, and ploughing on behalf of individual farmers. With Hello Tractor's widespread network of tractors, farmers can now easily access tractor services at a fraction of the cost of owning one. This enables her to efficiently prepare her field for the upcoming growing season in time.
Jenny Walton
Vivek Sakhrani
Atlas AI
Robert Haidari
Hello Tractor

09/11 Empowering livestock farmers in small and middle income countries with artificial intelligence and digital tools

The first part of the presentation will delve into the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies pertinent to Agriculture 4.0. We will explore vital applications of AI that are instrumental in tackling challenges faced by the agriculture and food sectors, especially within the Global South. A showcase of a few research endeavors undertaken by researchers from the University of Florida, employing AI to advance agriculture and food systems, will also be shared as well principal challenges and promising opportunities lying ahead. The second part of the talk will outline lessons learned from deployment of digital tools for dairy farm assessment, formulating livestock rations, and marketing goats in African and Asian countries.
Headshot image of Adegbola Adesogan
Adegbola Adesogan
University of Florida

09/11 Solutions for smallholder inclusive implementation of deforestation free supply chains

This session demonstrated how inclusive ICT can provide value to smallholders in international value chains. The groundbreaking EU Regulation on Deforestation-Free Products (EUDR) stipulates that any product which comes from a plot of land with recent deforestation will be prohibited from entry into the European market. Critiques of the EUDR expect coffee importers to minimize the risk of having coffee rejected at the port by preferentially sourcing from large producers in regions where low-forest or shade cover will not produce false positive alerts, and henceforth exclude smallholders with biodiverse shade from their supply chains. This session will first provide an introduction to inclusive coffee value chains in Honduras before demonstrating three initiatives to respond to these needs. The Digital Integration of Agricultural Supply Chains Alliance (DIASCA) seeks to establish a smallholder inclusive common open standard to support interoperability between traceability systems. Terra-I+ uses AI to remote sense deforestation in coffee landscapes with high precision. Croppie enables coffee stakeholders to digitally verify coffee quantities on smallholder plots to avoid EUDR circumvention. Jointly, these innovations enable coffee stakeholders to cost-effectively source from smallholders while meeting and rewarding sustainability objectives.
Federico Ceballos
Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT
Christian Bunn
Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Brian King
Louis Reymondin
Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT

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