SACAU Aims To Empower Farmers at Davos 2016

At the World Economic Forum’s 46th Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, SACAU CEO Ishmael Sunga is to push for greater global attention for the world’s farmers and in particular  smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.

This year’s theme is “Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution” and Sunga emphasises that farmers need to master the new technologies the world has to offer. “Indeed, digital technology presents perhaps the greatest prospects to revolutionise smallholder agriculture on the widest scale, within the shortest period of time and at the lowest cost,” he said.

But Sunga argues that it’s also the duty of farmer’s organisations to develop digital technological capabilities in order for them to continue to remain relevant to farmers.

Sunga will be sharing examples of how SACAU is using digital technology to overcome farmer fragmentation. SACAU has successfully piloted a digital aggregation platform, which it is now preparing to roll out.

“This platform has been designed by farmers, for farmers,” Sunga added.

The power of information is becoming a crucial source of competitiveness noted Sunga. “It is at the core of investment decisions and planning around what to produce, in what quantities, for whom, when, how, and at what cost, as well as effective operations management such as when to irrigate and when to apply fertilizers,” he said.

“The future belongs to those who are able to harness the potential of information communication technologies (ICTs),” Sunga said. “Smallholder farmers are increasingly connected through their mobile phones, presenting us with an opportunity to empower them with information.”