Sat, 11 Mar 2023 Agriculture

Microsoft, OCP Africa partner to support smallholder farmers, agri-dealers and other stakeholders in Africa

  Sat, 11 Mar 2023
Microsoft, OCP Africa partner to support smallholder farmers, agri-dealers and other stakeholders in Africa

At the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office, and OCP Africa announced a partnership that will positively impact smallholder farmers and Agri-stakeholders across Africa by 2025.

OCP Africa, an African company that supplies fertilizer solutions adapted to local conditions and to the needs of soils and crops across the continent, is partnering with Microsoft to reinforce and scale its Digital Agriculture Platform. This platform enhances the quality of farmers’ production, enables them to better manage their businesses. Partnership between both companies will scale the Agri-platforms rapidly with new and existing geographies, enhancing the services offered and developing new services.

In this time of increasing food insecurity, enhancing the resilience and livelihoods for 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.

Collaboration with African Agri-Tech startups, agricultural firms and partners to increase access to technology, skills, and agricultural knowledge is crucial to optimising the industry and generating new revenue streams that will ensure global food security. Microsoft aims to support digital transformation in agriculture to drive economic growth. The adoption and integration of technologies such as the Cloud, AI, Agri Data Platforms and Azure App modernisation into the agricultural space will deliver transformation in the form of precision agriculture.

The partnership will enable smallholder farmers to access skilling and information through Agri-digital services leveraging on OCP Africa programs like the Farmer Hub concept to support millions of farmers. OCP Africa will also work with Microsoft to explore the use of big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to build their data and AI platform to enhance operational efficiency and better serve the stakeholders in the ecosystem.

“We believe that precision farming, brought about by the adoption of advanced technologies into the agricultural sector, will revolutionise food production and help to eliminate hunger and poverty in Africa. Technology is the key factor to 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,” says Wael Elkabbany, General Manager for Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster.

“African agriculture is at a transformational moment in its history – and a time of incredible possibility and promise for farmers and industry alike. Digitising agricultural practices in Africa allows smallholder farmers to optimise their decision-making, which in turn helps optimise production. The partnership between OCP Africa and Microsoft will allow us to increase the services provided and scale-up our digital platform, expand our reach and make an even bigger impact on food security across the continent,” says Dr Mohamed Anouar Jamali, CEO of OCP Africa.