Precision-agriculture for smallholder agriculture


Precision agriculture using remote sensing technologies and intelligent management of big and open data among medium and small-scale farmers is still in its infancy in many ACP countries, while it has the potential to dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of agri-food systems.

Precision agriculture is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter- and intra-field variability in crops and where data generation, transfer, acquisition, storage and analysis are at the core of timely and spatially-defined decision making. It will support, pilot and favour the upscale of selected ICT for agriculture applications. The success of the deployment of innovative technologies depends also on how sustainably the resource base is managed. In turn this depends – among others – on how inclusive the decision making/planning processes have been.

Participatory GIS (PGIS) practice has proved to be rather effective in helping farmers planning sustainable resource use and reducing risks associated to climate change. Within the scope of this project CTA will support its adoption within ACP regions where the practice has still to be introduced. Since PGIS practice builds on a range of geographic information technologies, CTA will also support the establishment of online spatial decision support systems.

There is a clear link between precision agriculture and the promotion of entrepreneurship along the value chains, especially among youth, as the latter are the most eager to embrace innovation.

© 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.