Capgemini develops digital platform for farming in Kenya

17 October 2019 Consultancy.africa

Global digital consultancy Capgemini is working towards tackling an anticipated international food shortage, having worked in collaboration with social enterprise organisation Agrics to develop a data platform for the Kenyan agricultural sector. The platform is titled Financial and Agricultural Recommendation Models (FARM).

FARM embodies the application of technology enhance operations in the agricultural sector. The platform leverages the value of artificial intelligence (AI) to gather big data on farming patterns and systems. The data is then analysed to produce detailed recommendations to eliminate inefficiencies and improve productivity.

The new platform will also leverage machine learning capabilities to connect the platform with mobile devices, thereby expanding the scale of its practical implementation. While Capgemini has developed this solution for Kenyan agriculture, the expectation is that it can be of considerable benefit to the global agricultural market.

Much like the rest of the world, food demand across Africa has been escalating, putting a considerable strain on land resources in the region. Analysis has shown that foreign investment in the sector, alongside more innovative farming techniques, is crucial to ensure its sustainable expansion.

Capgemini develops digital platform for farming in Kenya

In developing the platform, Capgemini worked in collaboration with Agrics East Africa, a social enterprise that is devoted to supporting small farmers across East Africa with the resources that they need to become productive. This includes farm inputs, capital innovation and general knowhow.

FARM will benefit from the digital capabilities delivered by Capgemini and the agricultural knowhow provided by Agrics. As a result, the platform is equipped with recommendations on crop production optimisation, as well as advice on commercial decision-making. The platform also has benefits for buyers.

Commenting on the new development, Data Analyst at Capgemini and Lead of Project FARM Julian van Velzen said, “By connecting farming communities with data science, and big data with traditional farming methods, the FARM platform is built to optimise the value chain and bring parties together as an ecosystem around one data-driven platform. The platform can pave the way for bringing automated farming to small-scale farmers. With the increasing availability of open data and decreasing prices of sensors and satellite imagery, the future of farming is bright.”

Innovation Manager at Agrics East Africa Violanda de Man added, “Project FARM provides Agrics with an excellent opportunity to maximise value for its clients – the smallholder farmers – and to other actors in the value chain like processors and financial service providers. Through our interactions with the farmers we are on top of a huge reservoir of data. We can now turn this data into meaningful insights, which allows us to provide time and location specific products and services to increase yield and lower risk at farm and value chain level. Increased value chain effectiveness will help to directly improve income and food security of rural populations.”