Microsoft subsidiary in deal with OCP Africa to enable smallholder farmers access skills and information via agri-digital services

Microsoft has announced a partnership with OCP Africa through its Africa Transformation Office (ATO), 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. The platform improves farmer productivity while allowing them to better manage their businesses.

“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,” said Wael Elkabbany, the GM for Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster.

The announcement was made in Doha, Qatar at the 5th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries. The collaboration will enable smallholder farmers to gain access to skills 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.

On his part, CEO of OCP Africa Dr. Mohamed Anouar Jamali said: “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.”

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 modernisation into the agricultural space is 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 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,” added Elkabbany.

Created in 2016, OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the OCP Group, aims to contribute to the development of integrated agricultural ecosystems in Africa. OCP Africa works hand in hand with farmers to help grow the agricultural potential of the African continent through solutions adapted to local conditions and to the needs of soils and crops. In partnership with a network of partners, including governments, non-profit organizations, and companies, OCP Africa works continuously to put all the necessary conditions for the benefit of farmers.

OCP Africa has local offices in many African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Cameroon, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Benin, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, and Rwanda) and is present on the ground through affiliates in many others. It is also working to help to secure the production of competitive fertilizers near major agricultural regions, to strengthen its logistical capacities and to develop new local distribution networks.


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