Technology and Food Security

A myriad of documents both quality and those not worth looking at have been written on food security. A few have been implemented and yet there is continued volumes of similar papers being pushed out to achieve the same.

My constant question is, which models have already been implemented? Why do they then fail to be replicated or scale? Is it the lack of correct infrastructure combined with the skill set that goes with it?

How can we then make it a reality every-time we feel that the direction a certain type of research or model is taking is not going to be a success story within the African continent or any other continent for that matter?

Research is definitely pertinent to having long-term and sustainable models that can be used to improve agricultural processes and methods but then are we not racing against time?

For example, according to the article by, Harvard review   Africa shall  be home  to about the 2 billion people by 2050. 2050 is only 30 years away and it is going to catch up with us before we know it.

How then can technology be utilized to achieve food security at the same pace  we are experiencing population growth?

Geospatial Technologies and Big Data analytics can be used to achieve this. Aerial images from satellites or drones,

Image Creds: Sensefly and CNBC

Weather forecasts, and soil sensors are making it possible to manage crop growth in real time by using different methods in Machine Learning technologies.

Combined with other technologies that make precision farming possible, we can leapfrog as a continent to systems that do not undermine the traditional methods that existed before technology but utilizing that knowledge to determine the best solutions fit for the African continent. There needs to be African solutions made for the African continent and not copy pasting solutions whose success stories are majorly in the western World. There needs to be high  level of consciousness in achieving that. This applies to both policy makers from the continent and those from outside the continent.

Even with technologies being able to help  us leapfrog, they should be implemented in such a manner that the people are especially the local people on the ground are involved in the process and not creating the feeling of being left behind. There is a lot in terms of skills gap that needs to be addressed as well if we have to see more success stories on the linkage of technology  and agriculture in the continent. There are already success stories of various startups founded by  Native Africans but we need more numbers and more collaborations to make it possible to achieve the 100% food security mark in Africa. More individuals and organizations need to stop working in silos but instead use technology as a bridge towards collaboration towards developing sustainable solutions.

 

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