Microsoft and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support digital transformation in agriculture in Tanzania, as well as Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, and Ethiopia.
AGRA is an alliance led by Africans with roots in farming communities across the continent. Since 2006, AGRA has worked with partners across Africa to deliver solutions to smallholder farmers and indigenous African agriculture enterprises.
Microsoft partners with AGRA via its 4Africa initiative, founded in 2013 and investing in start-ups, partners, small-to-medium enterprises, governments and youth in Africa. 4Afrika’s focus is on delivering affordable access to the internet, developing skilled workforces and investing in local technology solutions.
The aim of the partnership is to co-create technology solutions in agriculture through exploring the use of big data and AI. This will be applied to the digital transformation of AGRA. The support will then translate to AGRA’s grantees, including Tanzania, to improve their digital offering.
The partnership will also provide:
- Skills development support to AGRA through leveraging existing Microsoft programmes, including co-managing an internship programme
- Co-design and development of technology solutions to support AGRA programmes and processes
“We’re excited to continue our work with AGRA in building locally-relevant technology solutions that are mindful of challenges local farmers face, offering solutions to farmers and policy makers alike to deliver meaningful impact,” says Amrote Abdella, Regional Director, Microsoft 4Afrika.
“We look forward to the next year to deepen each area of work we have begun together both technically and geographically. We very much appreciate the opportunity to draw on Microsoft’s digital architecture support on digital ecosystems and big data platforms,” says Vanessa Adams, Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Chief of Party, AGRA.
AGRA in Tanzania
The work of AGRA in Tanzania is in line with the Government’s Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP II), which aims to transform the country’s agricultural systems and increase the productivity and income of smallholder farmers.
AGRA’s strategy and support for Tanzania from 2017 to 2021 seeks to catalyze and sustain an inclusive agricultural transformation to increase incomes and improve food security for 1.5 million smallholder farming households through an investment of USD 28 million.
The investments are focused on high impact areas such as food processing and market-oriented agricultural production.