IBM Supports African Agricultural Startups Through Digital4Agriculture Initiative
IBM has announced that it is supporting the Digital4Agriculture Initiative (D4Ag), which aims to foster African start-ups in the agricultural sector.
The initiative also seeks to strengthen the long-term living conditions of local small farmers by increasing productivity and quality.
With the help of digital expertise from IBM Services and access to accurate weather data provided by IBM’s The Weather Company, D4Ag has successfully launched and is helping over 36 African agricultural companies become better prepared for the digital future.
Reliable weather forecasts are very difficult to make for Africa’s agricultural industry due to IT infrastructure unavailability. Small agricultural enterprises not only lack internet access and suitable hardware, but existing data is often unreliable or difficult to process. By making high-resolution weather data available to agricultural start-ups, DG4Ag is providing valuable information to small farmers that can help them make important decisions with greater confidence. For example, historical weather data from a tea plantation served as training material and showed how data analysis can be used to increase yields, as well as to determine the best time to harvest or the optimal use of fertilisers or pest control.