- This partnership will allow OCP Africa scale its Digital Agriculture Platform.
- In 2021, Agriculture accounted for 17.2% of Africa’s total revenue.
- Smallholder farmers estimate a loss of at least 15% of their entire yield during the food production process.
Microsoft has announced its partnership with OCP Africa through its Africa Transformation Office to improve Africa’s food security and Agritech at the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. The partnership will assist smallholder farmers increase agricultural production through Agritech.
OCP Africa is an agricultural company that supplies fertilizer solutions adapted to local conditions. The company has built a reputation with its initiative to support small-scale farmers within the continents.
With Africa’s recent technological investments, more industries are incorporating technology to increase efficiency, boost performance and prevent any damage. Agritech is one of the few revolutionary concepts Africa has eagerly adopted over the past decade. This new collaboration will positively impact smallholder farmers, and Agri-stakeholders by 2025.
According to the company, the platform is one of the vast applications of Agritech in Africa and the partnership with Microsoft will further scale the tech solution to more farmers. In addition, Microsoft has agreed to offer its best facilities to enhance its services while offering new ones.
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The Microsoft-OCP partnership arrives in the nick of time as several countries within the continent are suffering severe food security crises. The current crisis can be averted if smallholder farmers are given the much-needed attention and support they require.
OCP Africa designed its platform for this specific reason ensuring an increase in Agricultural productivity. In addition, the partnership seeks to reduce losses acquired in the food production chain. This is where Agritech in Africa comes to play. Different technologies can simplify the complex nature of food products like blockchain technology and AI. Despite frequent weather events and unforeseen disasters, Agritech in Africa can efficiently handle this and many more crises.
According to Dr Mohammed Anouar Jamali, “African agriculture is at a transformative moment in its history – and a time of incredible opportunity and promise for farmers and industry. The digitization of agricultural practices in Africa allows smallholder farmers to optimize their decision-making, which helps to optimize production. The partnership between OCP Africa and Microsoft will enable us to scale the services provided, grow our digital platform, expand our reach and have an even greater impact on food security across the continent.”
His positive remarks shed light on the potential Agritech has in Africa. Wael Elkabbany, Managing Director of Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster, said,” We believe that precision agriculture, brought about by the adoption of advanced technologies, will revolutionize food security in Africa.”
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“In addition, the partnership will also tackle various elements plaguing Africa, such as hunger and poverty. Technology is a crucial element in increasing access to finance, equipment and sustainability for rural farmers. Thus supporting smallholder farmers in Africa during such dire times. Our partnership with OCP Africa will significantly boost Agriculture by supporting the farmers directly.”
Microsoft aims to support the digital transformation of agriculture to pioneer economic growth in Africa. The multibillion-dollar company has also stated it will assist OCP Africa with several revolutionary technologies, such as cloud solutions, Artificial intelligence and Azure application mobilizations. When these advancements are integrated with OCP’s agricultural data platform, it will create a sophisticated Agritech software boosting agriculture in Africa.
Need for Agritech in Africa
It is a common fact that agriculture still stands as Africa’s top economic activity. In 2021, Agriculture accounted for 17.2% of Africa’s total revenue. In most cases, smallholder farmers estimate a loss of at least 15% of their entire yield during the food production process.
Aside from this, smallholder farmers suffer from various elements, such as drastic weather events. Agritech steps in to provide a simpler and better solution. Solutions can comprise different elements and have different approaches to supporting smallholder farmers in Africa.
Some organizations, such as OCP Africa, prioritize the distribution of information. Others, like Releaf, a Nigerian Agritech, focus on manufacturing and utilizing technology to speed up the food position process in Nigeria. With the changing times, many African countries have adopted Agritech to ensure food security for their citizens. This Microsoft-OCP partnership is but one of the many examples of Agritech-based collaborations in Africa.
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OCP Africa has also stated that it will capitalize on this collaboration to explore big data, machine learning and AI to build the data and AI platform. In doing so, the organization will finally establish an operational, efficient and flexible system thus ensuring its continuous goal of supporting smallholder farmers in Africa.