Tag Archives: agriculture

Apply Now: $500,000 for Your Big Data Innovations in Agriculture

The rapid growth in processing power and global connectivity means we can now quickly collect, share and analyze enormous amounts of data to reveal new ways to reduce hunger and poverty and develop robust responses to climate change, disease, and land degradation challenges. The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture seeks approaches that show the power of big data analytics and digital technologies to push the limits of the possible in research, transform how we do business, and drive impact in four broad challenge areas: Revealing Food Systems Monitoring Pests and Diseases Disrupting Impact Assessment Empowering Data-Driven Farming We are challenging partners, universities, and others to use our data to create incentivized pilot opportunities that scale. We’re looking for novel approaches that democratize these data-driven insights to inform local, national, regional, and global policies on agriculture and food security in real time; helping people – especially smallholder farmers – to lead happier and healthier lives. The Prize Five winning teams will receive $100,000 each to put their ideas into practice. Teams will have 12 months to implement small-scale proof of concept pilots to demonstrate viability

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Making the Case for Donor Financing for AgTech Investment

The market for AgTech investment is growing. According to AgFunder, in 2016 there was $3.23 billion dollars invested in 580 AgTech deals. Investments in US firms represented 40% of of those deals, followed by investments in India, Canada, UK, Israel and France. However, investments in Africa and most of Asia remain low, a missed opportunity given that this is where the majority of the approximately 500 million small-holder farmers in the world who produce 70% of the world’s food are located. While there are challenges to encouraging AgTech investment in emerging markets, donors and impact funds and other actors in the entrepreneurial ecosystem can play a role in attracting capital to this growing field

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11 Cost-Effective Uses of Drones in ICT for Agriculture

In February CRS, in collaboration with NetHope, flew a drone, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), over cashew farms in central Benin. Just from a first look at the images we could see immediately that there were several issues the farmers needed to address. We could see where there is space available to plant more trees and how many could be planted, where trees needed to be thinned out, where there had been burning, and areas for follow-up due to invasive weeds or other problems. Register now for ICTforAg 2017 to learn more about drones in agriculture Since then, we have found software that automatically tells us: tree counts, crop stress, and gradient changes that can show where water goes. These are hard to detect with the human eye, yet with this information, the field agent can use his limited and expensive time to pinpoint areas that need an in-person visit.

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ABCA 2017 Roundup: The latest research on agriculture in Africa

This post is joint with Niklas Buehren and Muthoni Ngatia You can find the entire conference schedule here.  In the summaries below we link to papers and videos (where applicable).    

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Uber for Tractors is Really a Thing in Developing Countries

You’ve probably taken an Uber, Lyft, or Grab Taxi. You may have used AirBnb. You could’ve even used Task Rabbit. I know I have. I’ve taken Uber in India, Kenya, and the Philippines, and found it to be easier and more transparent than taxis in all three countries, and Airbnb is now my go-to for short-term housing from Finland to Myanmar

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Your Fancy Android App Needs an Offline Mode

You’ve done your user-centered design, you’ve assessed your constituents, and you’ve determined that an Android application is the best way to deliver your intervention, using technology. Congratulations! Yet before you hire the Android development team in celebration, make sure your fancy application is designed to be used fully offline too. All Weather is Local With all the talk about cloud-based services for development, and all the promise of Android applications that leverage big data and cloud infrastructure, the reality in almost every country is that all weather is extremely local. Many areas will have enough Internet bandwidth to handle Android applications that need an always-on connection, yet most rural and underserved areas, will not – by definition

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How We Can Excite Youth By Using ICT in Agriculture

About six years ago, I was in Uganda as part of a team undertaking an agriculture policy assessment. One of the more interesting sound bites regarding agriculture was how many young people generically characterized farming as “digging” and that they’d rather earn enough to eat each day in almost any other way than digging. Two points stood out for me, and still do, in these declarations if we are to attract youth to and motivate them to stay in agriculture. Farming has to be more than digging. The time horizon has to lengthen beyond today.

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The Continuing Need for Infomediaries in Digital Development

When we advocate for investments in new digital development solutions, we often make the case for them to be dead simple to use, expecting our constituents to be able to adopt and utilize them effectively by themselves. Join us at ICTforAg to learn more about infomediaries in agriculture However, this assumption has four flaws that often lead to failure: 1. Basic Literacy: In many countries, the majority of adults cannot read even simple text messages. There is no way they are able to read your fancy app pages, especially your consent forms. 2

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Please Register Now: ICTforAg 2017 is Just 6 Weeks Away

Please register to attend ICTforAg 2017 on June 23rd, at FHI 360 in Washington, DC. This one-day conference will build on ICTforAg 2015 and 2016, bringing together 300 thought leaders and decision-makers in agriculture and technology from the international development community and the private sector. With community-driven sessions featuring staff from USAID, AGRA, CIAT, Cargill, FAO, MCC, and a bevy of implementing organizations, we will examine how new innovations can empower smallholder farmers, and the communities that support them, through information and communication technologies. We’ll seek to find answers to the real challenges that smallholder farmers and agriculture value chain stakeholders face in four focus areas: Where are Digital Financial Services improving farmer finances?

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Is bigger better? Agriculture edition

One of the more exciting sessions I went to at the recent Centre for the Study of African Economies Conference was on the relationship between agricultural plot size and productivity.  I walked out of the session not sure of the shape of the relationship, but I was sure of the fact that there is a lot of measurement error going on.   And this is measurement error that matters a lot.    

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Reducing Risk and Increasing Agricultural Loans with Mobile Money in Ghana

Like in many developing countries, agriculture is the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy. 62 percent of Ghanaians are employed in the sector, says Doris Amponsaa Owusu, Business Services Specialist for USAID’s ADVANCE II Project (Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement). ADVANCE II, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, supports the scaling up of agricultural investments to improve the competitiveness of important value chains in Ghana, and is supported by Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global huger and food security initiative.

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How Video Can Improve Agricultural Practices in Uganda

Smallholder farmers located in the Southwestern tip of Uganda engage in potato farming to feed their families and to earn some extra income. As part of Pasic, a large policy action project to increase sustainable intensification of cropping systems in Uganda, we found that seed quality is the main factor holding potato farmers back. Farmers needed to learn two new activities: Positive Seed Selection: using the largest tubers for seed stock instead of eating them and only using small, malformed tubers affected by disease as seed stock. Proper Seed Storage and Handling: dry tubers on racks or on dry grass and inspected regularly for rotten or disease affected tubers. Using ICT to Increase Agricultural Knowledge To raise awareness on these two key potato seed quality aspects, we produced two short videos

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How Technology Can Reduce Hunger and Improve Food Security

There are 793 million people globally, who are undernourished or food insecure according to the FAO. Weather, conflict, labor markets, food supply systems, nutrition, livelihoods, and social inclusion combine to hinder their ability to acquire enough food to meet the daily minimum dietary energy requirements. While this may be shocking in societies where fast food restaurants offer “super sized” meals for cheap, for millions of people, getting enough to eat is a daily struggle. Thankfully, there are new tools of technology that policy makers can now use to sense and predict food insecurity months before it happens, allowing farmers and policy makers to increase their adaptive capacity. Improved Prediction From satellites circling the earth, to ground-based remote sensors in the oceans, rivers, and farms, we can forecast the drivers of food insecurity with high degrees of accuracy.

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Instilling a Strong Agri Culture

Originally posted here –  Instilling a Strong Agri Culture

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