African Farmers Embrace AI to Boost Productivity


Oyindamola Subair with Agency Report

Societies and the world at large are evolving, the use of more advanced technologies to solve human problems are being created daily. More and more jobs are being replaced by machines. It’s clear to see that the primitive days of going through  strenuous processes to proffer solutions to minimal problems are way behind us.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. The term may also be correlated to any machine that exhibits traits attributed to a human mind such as learning and problem-solving.

AgriPredict is an AI mobile app to get instant information about plant diseases and weather patterns, that would before only have come from agriculture experts and meteorologists. As of 2020, over 22,000 farmers in Zambia were using AgriPredict to cut costs and run their farms more efficiently, as well as selling their goods on the platform. Typically, if something goes wrong with a farmer’s crops, agriculture experts need to help advise them on what could be going wrong with their crops on-site. it is hard to get this in-person assistance if you’re a farmer in a rural area, most especially during the assault of the pandemic, so they are turning to technology for support.

AgriPredict | F6S

The AgriPredict application has been made easy to use, all the farmer has to do is take a picture of the suspected diseased plant, and the system will on-demand give a diagnosis, options for treatment if required, and location of the nearest agro-dealer. The farmer also receives information on weather predictions. The application is also made available for those without access to smartphones, once a disease or pests are detected in a District, that information is made accessible to users without a smartphone, by simply dialing a short code. They also provide weather prediction to help farmers with their planning such as rainfall, temperature, wind speed and humidity.

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The use of artificial intelligence to counter agricultural problems has moved the way farmers operate. It has modernized their operations and simplified the work that they are saddled with. Farmers can now save cost and produce more with the help of this advanced technology. It has truly simplified the agricultural space. Farmers can now be connected directly to those looking for their produce. They can make informed decisions on matters like weather and climate conditions, and pest control. This new-age technology counters the barrier rendered by the vicious virus. The lack of access to timely agricultural information for most farmers, especially the majority in the rural areas, has for a long time posed a threat to their yields.


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