Since its inception in February 2021, the Accelerating Inclusive Green Growth through Agri-based Digital Innovation in West Africa (AGriDI) project, has helped to develop six digital innovations, which are being tested for their ability to provide tangible solutions for farmers and agribusinesses in crop and livestock production, as well as links to markets, in several west African countries. AGriDI is one of the 12 Innovation Fund projects financed by the European Union through the ACP Innovation Fund of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). The initiative is anchored in the innovation subcomponent of the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (Rsif) implemented by an icipe-led consortium in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. At icipe, AGriDI is, an initiative of the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET).

The innovations include:

  • AGriCef mobile App, developed by Université de Parakou, to control the fall armyworm in maize in Northern Benin
  • Ki@ App in Benin, which collects and provides relevant market updates via short text and voice messages directly to local farmers on their mobile phones.
  • SMARTSOIL App (South-Western Nigeria), developed by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), which is using digital soil mapping and artificial intelligence techniques to provide hyper-local soil information in easily accessible and affordable ways to end-users.
  • Driving Market Access and Managing AG value chains (DigiMakt, Ghana), which is being used to profile and disseminate climate smart agronomic advisory, market information, weather alerts, insurance, and credit scoring for over 12,500 smallholder farmers for financial inclusion in Bono East and Oti regions.
  • DigiMakt, developed by Esoko Ltd., winner of the Agri-Tech Company of the Year Award at the Ghana Agriculture and Agri-Business Awards 2023.
  • In Burkina Faso, the WASCAL project is exploring Artificial Intelligence and other technological methods for early detection of pests and diseases in maize, onion and tomato, in three regions while investigating the relationships between pest and disease incidences and climatic and environmental variables.

Additional AGriDI projects are supporting the enhancement of the development of policies on digital innovations in the region, with focus on creating job opportunities for youth and women, while addressing climate change.

During a second annual implementers forum, held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, from 11 – 15 September 2023, jointly hosted by icipe and the Centre d’Excellence Africain Changement Climatique, Biodiversité et Agriculture Durable (CEA CCBAD), at Université Félix Houphouët-Boigny (UFHB), AGriDI partners agreed on several critical next steps. They include: strengthening the technical and financial capacity for improved implementation, adaptation and development of policies to support digital innovation initiatives in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); forming partnerships and collaborations, which are crucial in the innovation process; forging linkages with private sector actors and local authorities; and address intellectual property issues.

Related Posts