New Digital Transformation Program unveiled to boost Africa’s Agri-food sector

This program aims to reach and assist 50,000 farmers and 50 cooperatives.

Microsoft 4Afrika with the International Finance Corporation has launched an initiative that will provide small scale farmers and agriculture-related small businesses in Africa with digital tools and training materials. 

Through the program, Microsoft 4Afrika and IFC will promote digital transformation in Africa’s agribusiness. It will help modernize the sector’s supply networks and increase farmers’ productivity and earnings. 

Farmers in Kenya, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, and Uganda will be the first to use the mobile platform as it pilots. 

Initiative’s Target 

Microsoft 4Afrika strategy is to invest in agri-tech in order to unlock Africa’s rich agricultural potential while also feeding a nation. This initiative aims to reach and support 50,000 farmers and 50 cooperatives.

The initiative was informed by the fact that digital technology may improve the operation of major supply chains in the food system by increasing agricultural efficiencies, improving business practices, and increasing access to finance.

“We need to pay close attention to how agri-tech organizations transform digitally, what challenges they face acquiring new technologies, and the daily challenges they may be facing in the area of digital skills development.” Kendi Nderitu, Microsoft Kenya, Country Manager. 

Helping the agribusiness sector to capitalize on digital economy opportunities 

The partnership will use Microsoft 4Afrika’s unique digital platforms and the IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program to provide small-scale farmers, cooperatives, and “last mile retailers” with information and digital tools to improve farming practices, business professionalism, and food security and traceability throughout the supply chain.

“By making digital tools more accessible to farmers, cooperatives and last-mile retailers, Microsoft and IFC can together help the agribusiness sector to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the digital economy.” Samuel Dzotefe, Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, Middle East & Africa IFC. 

Microsoft’s KuzaBot mobile chat platform will be included in the cooperation, which will streamline and simplify the distribution of critical information to farmers on excellent agricultural and commercial practices.

Small enterprises, aggregators, and farmer cooperatives will benefit from the IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program, which will be offered on the Microsoft Community Training platform. 

The partnership’s long-term goal is to get a better knowledge of the variables that influence smallholder farmers, farmer cooperatives, and other participants in the agriculture supply chain to adopt and employ digital solutions.