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Next-generation ACP agriculture - innovations that work

This issue of ICT Update brings together selected experiences of agricultural practitioners working close to the ‘front line’, bringing innovation and next-generation ideas to agriculture for development projects, and helping them reach, benefit and empower smallholder producers, leading to sustainable change. The individual stories were produced through four CTA-led ‘experience capitalisation’ processes designed to identify and document actionable knowledge on practices that work for ACP agriculture. At the heart of each process was a workshop with CTA staff, partners and collaborators, focusing on insights and lessons around each of CTA’s four strategic intervention areas.

In this issue

Leveraging innovation and actionable knowledge for next-generation ACP agriculture

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Digital as well as other technical and institutional innovations underpin the success of agriculture in developing-country countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Such innovations are encouraging a new generation of young ‘agripreneurs’ to tackle agri-food challenges, explore ways to build resilience to climate change, and improve the incomes and livelihoods of people in agriculture.

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Three young entrepreneurs working in the digitalisation for agriculture sector have learned the hard way that delivering technology-driven solutions for smallholder farmers in Africa can present special challenges. Here, they share some of their insights, including a survival strategy that they claim is critical to success – diversify or die.

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For online agricultural trading platforms to be scaled and sustained, they need to overcome an array of challenges relating to system design, revenue traction and uptake. Here, Samwel Rutto, regional manager for Structured Trading Systems at the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC), highlights the common pitfalls and key considerations for agribusiness when trying to grow their online client base.

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Organic agriculture in ACP regions is improving the livelihoods of women farmers, who are selling high value products to global niche markets. Two examples, from Jamaica and Samoa, illustrate the scope for organic agriculture to empower women agripreneurs to change local practices to benefit livelihoods and the environment.

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Experience with climate-smart agriculture (CSA) initiatives increasingly shows that delivering green services in isolation is an ineffective approach that produces disappointing outcomes. The provision of ‘bundled’ of products which are suited to farmers requirements is far more likely to promote CSA uptake, increasing sustainability and resilience to climate change as a result. Examples from different CTA projects show this approach in action.

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Private sector climate-smart investments are bridging the gap for agricultural development funding in a bid to help realise the Sustainable Development Goals through impact investing, a novel way of creating and sharing wealth.

Digital, as well as other technical and institutional innovations, underpin the success of agriculture in developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). Such innovations are encouraging a new generation of young agripreneurs to tackle agri-food challenges, explore ways to build resilience to climate change and improve the incomes and livelihoods of people in agriculture.

Past issues

Spore N. 90

Women and Digitalisation in Agriculture

Spore N. 89

Data4Ag: New opportunities for organised smallholder farmers

Spore N. 88

Unlocking the potential of blockchain for agriculture

Spore N. 86

Precision agriculture for smallholder farmers

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