The agricultural sector has the greatest potential to uplift the African economy and address global food shortages, but foreign investors are increasingly choosing Africa as a lucrative opportunity, depriving people of their land and water. Governments have failed to convert the wealth created by economic growth into the opportunities that all Africans can exploit to build a better future. If African farmers increase their productivity and substitute the imports with their own produce, this would provide a powerful impetus to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security, and supporting a more inclusive pattern of growth.
Today we launch the new website of Argils, a web platform that crowdsources and shows stories of startups, organisations and projects in the field of ICT for agriculture in Africa, trying to find a solution to this problem.
In the new version you find several tools to access the stories and information about ICT4Ag in Africa:
- An interactive map of Africa with the crowdsourced stories geo-located
- A Youtube channel with interviews and documentaries from the field
- A page with the reports that we publish within European and African media outlets
- A blog with our events and news
The Agritools won two times the Innovation Grant Programme in Development Reporting (IDR), with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the European Journalism Centre (EJC). Agritools, launched in 2015, seeks to better understand how African entrepreneurs are using ICTs to solve problems facing the primary sector. Specifically, we are interested in young people who are finding alternative ways to impact local growth and development, with the help of cell phones, web platforms, social media and more.
To this, we use the techniques of solutions journalism. This approach focuses on exploring successful responses to social problems, and understanding the mechanisms of that success. Our leading questions are:
- Which ICT-based models are successfully addressing the problems faced in the primary sector?
- How are agricultural startups and projects impacting growth and development in the primary sector?
- What role do ICTs play in increasing young people’s interest in the agricultural sector?
- Can ICTs create new employment opportunities in agriculture?
We want our stories to have a positive impact on the lives of people both locally and globally. Therefore, we’ve established partnerships with both European and African media outlets, creating synergy among journalists from different countries.
How to be engaged?
Our work supports, encourages, and facilitates innovation in the agricultural sector. We seek out the people using technology to change the primary sector, analyze the factors that lead these people and their organizations to succeed, and share their stories with the public. We tell the story of how digital innovation is transforming agriculture, and transforming Africa.
If you have a project in the field of ICT for agriculture and you want to be part of the Agritools network, please fill up the form and tell us the solution you created to solve a problem in the primary sector. Through this network, and through the stories, videos, and reports that we publish, youth in Africa and beyond can learn about the value of the agricultural sector and the opportunities it presents.
The map will be available in few days, in the meantime enjoy the story page (http://www.agritools.org/