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Why you cannot afford to miss first ever digital farmers’ conference

By Standard Reporter | Published Thu, May 24th 2018 at 13:52, Updated May 24th 2018 at 14:25 GMT +3
A woman farming (courtesy)

Are you a farmer, wishing to take your farming to the next level using technology? Then the upcoming First-ever East Africa Digital Conference and Exhibition is the place to be. The event whose theme is Harness the benefits of technology and drive adoption of these tools by farmers will kick off on Tuesday, 29th of May.

The event will take place at KALRO Headquarters, Kaptagat Road in Nairobi at 10.00am. The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation Mwangi Kiunjuri will officially open the event.

The event whose theme is Harnessing the benefits of Technology and drive adoption of these digital tools is organized by Smart Farmer Africa in partnership with KALRO and Standard Media Group as Media Partners.

So what’s in for farmers?

The aim is to help farmers and other value chain actors to harness the benefits of digital technology and drive the adoption of these digital tools.

The agricultural industry in Africa is experiencing a transformation that is technology- driven on different fronts. Through the digitization of agriculture, farmers have easy access to markets, and quality seed as well as accurate weather prediction.

The inaugural East Africa Digital Farmers Conference brings together government ministries, international development agencies, smallholder farmers, farmer groups, the public and over 50 firms in agriculture, technology, investment, finance and banking. The conference stands to provide a platform for networking and knowledge sharing on how to best harness the power of digital technology in agriculture. 

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 The highlights

This three regional conference seeks to help farmers and other value chain actors to harness the benefits of technology and data, and drive the adoption of these digital tools by farmers.

Why this why now? 

The world is faced with a challenge of developing concrete solutions to feed a projected nine billion people by the year 2050.

This according to FAO, will require a 70 per cent increase in food production. The World Bank has additionally noted that besides increasing productivity, such efforts require to be augmented by ensuring minimal food losses and efficient supply chain management efforts in order to contribute to the glimmering population predictions.

ICT in agriculture is expected to play a major role in agricultural development in the developing world as many ICT solutions have proven affordable to small holder and resource poor farmers that make up about 80% of the farming community in the region. 

ICT’s role is therefore necessary in addressing many of these concerns by enabling, enhancing and facilitating solutions, thereby leap frogging agricultural outcomes that would have otherwise taken a much longer period to achieve. Several examples in the region continue to demonstrate its benefits in boosting agricultural production, enhancing information dissemination, providing marketing channels, optimizing resource and input, and in timely decision making to avoid losses. 

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