There are a few remedies for fixing or closing the digital divide in Africa and fixed wireless access 5G alongside, affordable access to devices,…
Nairobi-based startup Farm.ink has clinched the $150 000 grand prize of the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize. The announcement was made yesterday (15 November).
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), Land O’Lakes International Development, and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research announced the six winners of the Feed the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize yesterday at tech conference AfricaCom in Cape Town.
The prize, launched in March, sought digital innovations that could help farmers manage the recent spread of fall armyworm — a voracious agricultural pest — in Africa.
Kenya’s Farm.Ink clinched the $150 000 grand prize of the Future Fall Armyworm Tech Prize
Following a competitive co-creation and evaluation process and the field-testing of prototypes, USAID and its partners awarded prizes worth $450 000 to six organisations with digital solutions that will provide information to smallholder farmers and those who support them to identify, treat and track the incidence of fall armyworm.
Farm.ink won the grand prize for integrating a Fall Armyworm virtual advisor into its Africa Farmers Club mobile service which provides more than 150 000 farmers with information.
Through the Facebook Messenger platform, the solution gamifies learning and after completing trainings, allows farmers to access the fall armyworm Scouter, a progressive web app that guides farmers through the scouting process. It then provides farmers with personalised recommendations for how to treat fall armyworm on their farms.
Ugandan agritech Akorion and US-based social enterprise Dimagi — which worked with Project Concern International — were each awarded $75 000. Akorion was selected for an enhanced fall armyworm diagnostic in its EzyAgric app.
Akorion’s solution — the EzyArmyWorm (EAW) — is an enhancement of the pest and disease diagnostic in the EzyAgric app which aims to assist farmers, extension workers, and agribusinesses in Uganda with early detection and accurate diagnosis of fall armyworm.
It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow farmers to easily detect the pest across possible affected crops at any stage of the production cycle. With SMS and smart alert notifications, EAW provides farmers with constant reminders and real-time information on how to detect, manage, and address fall armyworm.
Ghana-based Farmerline and Henson Geodata Technologies, along with Nigeria’s eHealth Africa were each awarded $50 000 to to further develop early-stage mobile applications that will provide tailored information to combat the fall armyworm.
Henson Geodata Technologies solution, Igeza is a cloud-based mobile application that enables early detection and instant interaction with a control centre.
This, while eHealth Africa’s solution’s CornBot is an audio-visual mobile application that interacts with farmers in their local language, talking them through a process that helps them identify, control, and manage fall armyworm.