Over the past few decades, the biggest tech companies have become more involved in a wide range of activities and much of those are far from their core businesses. Microsoft is possibly the first tech behemoth to have emerged all those years ago when the tech sector was changing dramatically, and it has evolved into a company that provides a wide range of services. It also works with organizations in different parts of the world to bring about constructive changes.
Microsoft has launched plenty of initiatives over the years that seek to improve the lives of individuals in different areas, and the 4Afrika Initiative is one of the more important ones. In a new development, the company has decided to use its 4Afrika Initiative vehicle to strike up a collaboration with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). The collaboration will help the two organizations working towards developing technological solutions to the wide range of problems in African agriculture. AGRA is currently exploring ways to tackle the issues related to food security in several African countries and have decided to go for digital transformation to achieve their ends.
Food security is particularly acute in farming households in Africa and AGRA is going to focus on a total of 30 million such households spread across 11 countries in the continent. With the help of Microsoft, the two entities could use big data and artificial intelligence to enhance productivity in as many farms as possible. The regional director for 4Africa Initiative, Amrote Adbella stated that since as much as 70% of the African population is agrarian in nature, it is a high priority for Microsoft. On top of that, the company believes that the correct use of modern technology can help in transforming the fortunes of the sector dramatically. Adbella added,
Africa has a large number of farmers with varying farming practices. We believe technology can augment this knowledge to improve crop yields. Using Microsoft-enabled IoT technology, organisations like SunCulture have helped farmers increase crop yields by 300 percent.
It is a bold new initiative and one that could have far-reaching consequences for the continent in the long term. It could also lead to similar initiatives from other tech giants.