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Enhanced climate information services and big data solutions to enhance smallholder production for value chains in West Africa

Installation of cheap, recyclable IoT rain gauges prototypes to reduce basis risk, insurance premiums and interest rates on smallholder farmers. Photo: P.C.S. Traore (ICRISAT/Manobi Africa)
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Project description

This project aims to use Artificial Intelligence and associated technologies (Internet of Things IoT, Earth Observation, hyperlocal data streams) to enhance the impact of climate information by properly embedding it inside phygital value chain orchestration platforms (that allows to safely connect smallholder producers to agro-industrial processors, service industries, and distant consumer markets) that effectively support equitable, multi-partner and multi-scale business planning. This is motivated by the limited relevance of classical climate information services arising from often reductionist, universalistic and supply-driven approaches. The project focuses on Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal where it leverages the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme (EU-H2020) innovation action on Nurturing Africa’s Digital Revolution for Agriculture (NADiRA), on the Capacitating African Stakeholders with Climate Advisories and Insurance Development CASCAID project, and the Mathematical Sciences for Climate Resilience (MS4CR) program. 

Activities

The first activity builds capacity for innovative public-private joint ventures by:

  • Identifying market and primary entry points through the Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA), extended to include the participation of corporate partners alongside civil society, smallholder farmers, and research institutions)
  • Validating risk profiles, cost structures and inclusive business development options for contract farming using digital platforms that include monitoring of agricultural production down to individual field level
  • Developing and training the next generation of franchise extension networks in the efficient operation of digital platforms, including privacy protection and inclusion of vulnerable segments of the agricultural population, such as women

A concurrent activity improves the relevance and penetration of financial (protection) and agricultural advisory services by:

  • Strengthening the quality and granularity of Enhancing National Climate Services initiative (ENACTS) maprooms and other innovative agro-climatic data products, using Earth Observation and IoT technologies,
  • Using emergent big data from hundreds of thousands of farms to build diversity in the portfolio of insurance products available to smallholders, and agility in the management thereof
  • Increasing the accessibility and affordability of credit (and credit financing) services catering to smallholder agriculture, leading to measurable increases in the use of agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilizers) at scale

Expected outcomes

  • Risk profiles, cost structures and inclusive business development options validated for contract farming using digital platforms that include monitoring of agricultural production down to individual field level
  • Next generation of franchise extension networks developed and trained in the efficient operation of digital platforms
  • Diversity built in the portfolio of insurance products available to smallholders, and agility in the management thereof
  • More accessible and affordable credit (and credit financing) services catering to smallholder agriculture

Partners

More information

For more information, please contact project leader Pierre C. Sibiry Traoré (p.s.traore@cgiar.org or pierre.sibiry.traore@manobi.com)


Funding for this project is provided by: