solutions for post-harvest losses thanks to the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence

(Agence Ecofin) – Post-harvest losses (PPR) are one of the main weaknesses of the agricultural sector in Africa. This reality remains constant, while in the face of food inflation, African countries are looking for appropriate policies to increase food availability and reduce their dependence on foreign imports.

However, this challenge paves the way for several investment opportunities. Different segments of the value chain can thus generate economic opportunities. These include improving storage by installing warehouses that meet humidity and temperature standards. There is also packaging and agricultural processing through the supply of machinery for a first stage of processing of highly perishable food products.

Faced with the issue of post-harvest losses, the African Development Bank has implemented several interventions that fall under its “Feed Africa” ​​strategy, one of its five strategic priorities called ” high5 “. These interventions involve, since 2016, the approval of loans to countries not only to strengthen agricultural production, but also to strengthen downstream agriculture through support for storage infrastructure, marketing and packaging of agricultural commodities. .

Within the framework of the Investment Forum in Africa, new opportunities for the development of agriculture are explored. These include 4th industrial revolution (4IR) and its possible effects. According to the Bank’s experts, The impact of 4IR on agriculture could be profound and more so in Africa where the population is expected to double by 2050 “.

There is no shortage of cases of using the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence to benefit post-harvest loss reduction in Africa. In Nigeria, Binkabi, a blockchain-based agricultural trading initiative, has been developed in collaboration with Sterling Bank, a platform that allows farmers to deposit their crops in a warehouse, as opposed to the current situation in which they are often forced to they sell them immediately. after harvest. In exchange for their deposited crops, farmers receive a “tokenized” receipt of the asset, which is stored on the Blockchain.

Another example, in Morocco, Visio-Green Africa, a subsidiary of the French company Visio-Green, launched in 2018 the first complete IoT system in Morocco. The goal is to have a smart irrigation system, give farmers the opportunity to manage their fields remotely in a simple way and collect or store different types of data to manage yields more efficiently.

The African Bank has also implemented the RASME toolkit (Remote assessment, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation) based on the KoBoToolbox platform, an open source solution developed by researchers affiliated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. It allows remote data collection and analysis, via mobile interfaces – tablets, mobile phones or laptops – in projects carried out in remote or hard-to-access areas. RASME is currently implemented in about thirty African countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Gabon, Cameroon…

with 2365 AGENCY

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