- AGRA and Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office, signed an MoU for further partnership in Davos
- The organizations will leverage their success from a previous partnership starting 2019, and which led to the development of the AgriBot
DAVOS, Switzerland: May 24, 2022 – AGRA and leading technology provider Microsoft, have announced expanding their partnership to advance digital agricultural transformation in Africa.
The partnership, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding on the margins of the World Economic Forum in Davos 2022, builds on previous work between AGRA and Microsoft that focused on supporting AGRA’s digital transformation as it works to improve food security in Africa.
The new phase of the relationship will promote digital innovation and technology as an enabler to connect the agriculture ecosystems, sustainably integrating stakeholders in the service of strategic value chains.
“At AGRA, we realized early on that digital innovation is critical in advancing food security and poverty eradication in Africa. Our partnership with Microsoft will directly support governments, SMEs and farmers, by bringing the digital tools needed to build resilient food systems.” said AGRA President, Dr. Agnes Kalibata.
“I am delighted that Microsoft is expanding its partnership with The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice-President and President, National Transformation Partnerships, Microsoft. “Helping to deliver against the UNSDG of Zero Hunger by improving food security for millions of households, is vital for a fairer and more sustainable global economy. Digitalization is key to scaling impact and driving positive change.”
The announcement follows initial collaboration between the two organizations starting 2019, when Microsoft and AGRA co-created the AgriBot as a digital solution for localized extension and advisory services for smallholder farmers. The AgriBot works through inclusive omni-channel application experiences like Short Message Service (SMS) and WhatsApp for prioritized value chains.
“Our partnership with AGRA forms part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment in agritech across the continent as we support digital transformation in the sector. We’re excited to continue building locally relevant technology solutions that address the local farmers’ needs and deliver meaningful impact,” said Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh, Strategic Partnership Lead, Microsoft Africa Transformation Office.
In extending their relationship, the two organizations will:
- Leverage the Microsoft programs and tools to aggregate and enrich the various SME programs within AGRA;
- leverage the Tech for Social Impact team to support AGRA in its digital transformation journey;
- launch the third phase of the AgriBot to develop a sustainability model of the platform through exploring partnerships with third parties, in addition to scaling out to all the counties that have the VBA program;
- develop partnerships with other private sector companies like Bayer, Yara, Syngenta, Nestle, Rabobank, OLAM and others to get a broad-based buy in and explore opportunities for sustainable agriculture and explore use cases like digital value chain integration, smart agriculture, water conservation, traceability, and carbon sequestration, and
- empower youth for agriculture transformation by leveraging Microsoft skilling programs and tools like Microsoft Community Training (MCT) to scale AGRA programs on agribusiness, entrepreneurship, and employability.
Microsoft and AGRA are further partnering with Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives (MoALFC) to significantly accelerate the transformation of the agriculture ecosystem in line with the Agricultural Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) for digitisation.
The collaboration will explore the use of AgriBot as an e-extension solution to compliment the MoALFC e-voucher system thereby taking digital solutions to the last mile, where farmers realize the most benefits.
Originally posted on news.microsoft.com