The collaboration between Microsoft through its 4Afrika initiative will support AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security for 30 million farming households across 11 countries by 2021.
The MoU aims to encourage the use of big data and AI in the digital transformation of AGRA, working with the Kenyan government and expanding to Nigeria, Rwanda, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Ethiopia.
The partnership has also provided initial support to AGRA grantees including the National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), East African Grain Council (EAGC), Amtech Technologies and the Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) and supported SMEs.
The latest partnership follows on from the initial collaboration announced a year ago during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF).
During the past year, Microsoft 4Afrika and AGRA have worked tirelessly on many engagements.
Some of these include work with the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, the development of the KuzaBot chatbot to support the Village Based Advisor programme and farmers and the development of the Food Security War Room in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft and AGRA are also partnering with Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives to significantly accelerate the transformation of the agriculture ecosystem in line with the recently launched Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) for digitisation.
“We look forward to 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 at AGRA.
Microsoft 4Afrika Regional Director, Amrote Abdella, said: “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.”