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Digital technology to boost Ghanas green revolution

To boost growth in the agricultural sector of Africa, the industry needs access to more digital tools. This was the key message coming out from the African Green Revolution Forum, held in Accra this week. The technologies already exist. With drones, it is for example possible to monitor both cattle and crop, and the internet provides almost endless opportunities when it comes to finding information about weather, market prices and diseases.

However, limited access to the internet makes it hard for the farmers to take full advantage of the opportunities. As expressed by Maura Barry, Senior Deputy Assistant in USAID’s bureau for food security at the forum:

‘’The tech does not come to farmers at scale.’’

Apps for smartphones that can tell farmers what the weather will be like, or when they have to fertilize their crops can raise farmers’ incomes. But it just does not work, if such apps are using so much power that the battery dies.
  
Part of the solution can be Danish

Some companies seek to provide the missing link between the agro-tech-solutions that already exist and the inhabitants in the rural areas.
BLUETOWN, a Danish tech company that provides low cost Wi-Fi solutions to rural areas, is one example. According to Vice President for strategy and sustainability, Ms. Louise Kjær, describes.

‘’The main income, in many of the areas where we operate, comes from farming. So even though we are not experts on agriculture, we are looking into the field and cooperate with different agricultural institutions.’’ 

One of them is the Danish NGO CARE Denmark.
Soon a new Danida financed program between the two will take off. The project aims to connect smallholder farmers to Wi-Fi, to create a more sustainable agricultural industry in the rural areas.




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