Microsoft has partnered with OCP Africa through its Africa Transformation Office, with the goal of positively impacting smallholder farmers and Agri-stakeholders across Africa by 2025.
OCP Africa, an African company that provides fertilizer solutions tailored to local conditions as well as the needs of soils and crops throughout the continent, will collaborate with Microsoft to strengthen and scale its digital agriculture platform.
“In this time of increasing food insecurity, enhancing the resilience and livelihoods of smallholder farmers is needed to drive increased agriculture productivity, including reducing losses in the food production chain. With the increasing impacts of more frequent extreme weather events, adaptation, and resilience are of crucial importance to the food system’s transformation,” said Wael Elkabbany, General Manager for Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster.
The announcement was made in Doha, Qatar at the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries. The collaboration will enable smallholder farmers to gain access to skilling and information through Agri-digital services, leveraging OCP Africa programs such as the Farmer Hub concept to support millions of farmers.
OCP Africa will also collaborate with Microsoft to explore the use of big data, machine learning, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build their data and AI platform to improve operational efficiency and better serve ecosystem stakeholders.
“African agriculture is at a transformational moment in its history – and a time of incredible possibility and promise for farmers and industry alike. Digitizing agricultural practices in Africa allows smallholder farmers to optimize their decision-making, which in turn helps optimize production,” CEO of OCP Africa Dr. Mohamed Anouar Jamali said.
Collaboration with African AgriTech startups, agricultural firms, and partners to increase access to technology, skills, and agricultural knowledge is expected to optimize the industry and generate new revenue streams that will ensure global food security.
The adoption and integration of technologies such as the Cloud, AI, Agri Data Platforms, and Azure App modernization into the agricultural space are also expected to deliver transformation in the form of precision agriculture.
“We believe that precision farming, brought about by the adoption of advanced technologies into the agricultural sector, will revolutionize food production and help to eliminate hunger and poverty in Africa. Technology is the key factor in enabling and increasing access to finance, equipment, and sustainability for rural farmers, empowering local farmers in Africa. Our partnership with OCP Africa will help to directly impact smallholder farmers and improve production,” added Elkabbany.