Friday, July 10, 2020

Innovative UK agri-tech support farming in Africa

An innovative digital farming system is helping to increase yields across thousands of hectares of farmland in southern Africa while also creating new jobs locally and in the UK.

AgSpace Agriculture’s new GRID system gives farmers access to the most advanced agricultural satellite mapping and analysis available, backed by independent agronomic advice.

The information helps producers to make better management decisions and allows them to offer evidence of their crops’ performance to financial providers to gain access to credit and insurance.

GRID was developed under a two-year European Space Agency-backed project involving AgSpace, Agri-EPI Centre and Rhiza. It is the first tool on the market specifically allowing farmers and financial providers to track crop performance.

There has been rapid uptake of the product following its launch earlier this year. It is now operational in nine African countries, and involves financial providers including Standard Bank. Further expansion is predicted to create up to 775 jobs between the UK and Africa by 2024.

“Some 80% of the African workforce makes a living from agriculture but many are crippled by a lack of access to financial products to develop their businesses. Price fluctuations for inputs and products, along with crop failure, due to pests, diseases, temperature or variable rainfall, hold the entire agricultural ecosystem back,” said AgSpace Director, Vince Gillingham.

“It is very difficult for credit providers to measure risk in the face of such variables without good data from farmers. GRID offers a precision data-driven opportunity for overcoming this barrier, giving providers the evidence and confidence they need to support farmers in increasing yields, growing their farms and ultimately contributing to wider economic development.”

GRID uses high resolution satellite data to monitor crop performance while providing local weather data for every farm on an hourly basis. It provides soil mapping and soil health monitoring, supports fertiliser planning for increased efficiency and higher yields and calculates yield predictions.

Farmers access agronomy advice by smart phone to improve production while financial providers use the same satellite data to monitor crop performance and build a clear picture of each farm, whatever its size and however remote.

Francesco Feliciani, Head of the Commercial Applications Section of ESA, said: “We are convinced that GRID is a game changer in supporting farmers and associated financial services to understand the performance of farming businesses virtually everywhere in the world. This is key especially in times challenged by extreme weather events.

“We have directly witnessed how the GRID service is used by farming companies in Africa, and we are fascinated by its capability to turn complex datasets and analytics into easy to understand information through a very intuitive and appealing user interface.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our news site - please take a moment to read this important message:

As you know, our aim is to bring you, the reader, an editorially led news site and magazine but journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them.

With the Covid-19 lockdown having a major impact on our industry as a whole, the advertising revenues we normally receive, which helps us cover the cost of our journalists and this website, have been drastically affected.

As such we need your help. If you can support our news sites/magazines with either a small donation of even £1, or a subscription to our magazine, which costs just £31.50 per year, (inc p&P and mailed direct to your door) your generosity will help us weather the storm and continue in our quest to deliver quality journalism.

As a subscriber, you will have unlimited access to our web site and magazine. You'll also be offered VIP invitations to our events, preferential rates to all our awards and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Just click here to subscribe and in the meantime may I wish you the very best.















Latest news

Keurig Dr Pepper investment to improve US polypropylene recycling

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) is committing $10 million over the next five years to improve polypropylene recycling in the US. The investment forms the founding...

Bell Food Group further invests in cultured beef start-up, Mosa Meat

The Bell Food Group, a major European meat processer, has upped its investment in Mosa Meat, the Dutch start-up pioneering lab grown meat. The new...

Tyson launches flagship chicken brand in European foodservice

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food company, is launching its legacy Tyson chicken brand in the European foodservice market. The company is introducing...

Nespresso to expand Romont production centre to meet demand

Nespresso is investing CHF 160 million (£135m) investment to expand its Romont production centre in Switzerland to meet increasing consumer demand and support international...

Aldi UK pledges to never sell chlorinated chicken, hormone treated beef

Aldi UK will never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone injected beef, regardless of any future trade deals, CEO Giles Hurley has pledged. The supermarket –...

Start-up reducing sugars in orange juice is scaling up

Better Juice, the Israeli food-tech start-up behind an innovative technology that reduces all types of sugars in orange juice, is scaling up. The start-up is...

Related news

Keurig Dr Pepper investment to improve US polypropylene recycling

Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) is committing $10 million over the next five years to improve polypropylene recycling in the US. The investment forms the founding...

Bell Food Group further invests in cultured beef start-up, Mosa Meat

The Bell Food Group, a major European meat processer, has upped its investment in Mosa Meat, the Dutch start-up pioneering lab grown meat. The new...

Tyson launches flagship chicken brand in European foodservice

Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food company, is launching its legacy Tyson chicken brand in the European foodservice market. The company is introducing...

Nespresso to expand Romont production centre to meet demand

Nespresso is investing CHF 160 million (£135m) investment to expand its Romont production centre in Switzerland to meet increasing consumer demand and support international...

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close