Prime Minister of Rwanda calls for more ICT
to transform African agriculture
25 June 2019. Kigali, Rwanda. This year, the The Malabo Montpellier Forum focused on Digitalization in African agriculture. It was supported by a technical report analyzing the experience of African countries, which are at the forefront of the application of digital innovations in the agriculture sector.
If used in the right way, digitalization will be a major pillar of the future successful growth and transformation of Africa’s agriculture sector. The report focuses on institutional innovations and policy and programme interventions and
provides critical insights on how to achieve those targets.
During the Forum participants discuss the policy, institutional and programmatic factors which have led to remarkable progress in several African countries and shared lessons that can be learned across borders.
- It analyzes which institutional and policy innovations were implemented and which actions by the private sector and agtech start-ups were taken to increase the development and use of digital tools and services in the agriculture value chain.
- The objective of this report is to identify interventions that work and benefit farmers and other actors in the value chain and recommend options for policy and program innovation that allow countries to develop a digitalization ecosystem in which digital technologies and services can be developed and used to foster growth and competitiveness in Africa’s agriculture value chains.
- In digital policy and education, the report recommended placing digitalisation at the core of national agricultural growth and transformation strategies and policies; and creating a transparent and smart regulatory environment that promotes the development and confident use of digital technologies and services and limits the risks.
- In addition, it recommended expanding university curricula to spur digital innovation and the development of an African agtech (agriculture technology) sector; and strengthening skill development and digital literacy training for farmers and other actors in the food system as technologically more advanced innovations are being developed.
To improve the efficiency of the agriculture value chain, the Moroccan government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, set up an information system (ASAAR) in 2011 to provide farmers, traders and consumers with updated information on market prices, allowing them to make more informed decisions on commodity prices, and when to buy or to sell their produce.
The government has recognized the importance of a conducive business environment to sustainably increase ICT-based services relevant for strengthening food value chains. However, public-private partnerships need to be more actively facilitated and promoted for a sustainable agricultural digitalization.