Training on Product Development and Commercialization of AI Technology in Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa, 14th – 15th September 2023.

AI4MORECROPS participated in the training on product development and commercialization for the Artificial Intelligence for Agriculture and Food Systems in Africa. This training is part of fulfilling the objectives of the AI4MORECROPS startup/company to deepen understanding of how to develop, deploy, and scale responsible AI innovations for sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (AFS) in Africa and build the capacity of African innovators and researchers to develop, deploy and scale such AI applications in AFS. AI4MORECROPS is at the forefront of accelerating African food systems transformation by catalyzing African leadership agri-food systems champions and coordination, capacity and capability for resilient and sustainable food systems as well as development of digital and impact -driven agricultural solutions using AI/ML, IoAT and other emerging technologies (Blockchain, remote sensing, etc).

AI4morecrops at the ACM African Champions in People Contred AI and HCI Summit 2023, Cape Town, South Africa, 19th – 22nd August 2023.

The PI, Dr. Alcardo Alex Barakabitze attending an AI and Human Centered Interaction Summit that was held from 19th to 22nd August 2023 at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Alcardo Barakabitze described the importance of digitizing the agriculture sector in Africa by leveraging cutting -edge solutions of AI, IoT, remote sensing and others. He also emphasized the importance of decolonizing the teaching curriculum of STEAM subjects at all levels of education in Africa so that the developed tools can be of beneficial to the local community.

The PI of AI4MORECROPS, DR. Alcardo Alex Barakabitze Among the UNESCO AI Experts From Africa

16th June 2023

Dr. Alcardo Alex Barakabitze meets with the representatives of the “Women in Tech and AI” project funded by the UNESCO Ai movement initiatives and discussed the efficient way of designing a training and mentorship programmes to the African Women –in Tech in Rabat, Morocco in August 2023 and 2024.

Women in Tech and AI is a joint collaborative initiative by UNESCO, OCP Foundation (Morocco) and the AI Movement. AI Movement is a leading African Center of excellence in AI hosted at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic in Morocco. This initiative will contribute to UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Priority Africa (2022-2029) and specifically to Flagship Programme 4 that seeks to harness new and emerging technologies for sustainable development in Africa through the implementation of the recommendation on the Ethics of AI. The initiative also contributes to Flagship Programme 5 which focuses on “enhancing open science, reinforce capacity building in basic and applied sciences and scientific research to strengthen innovation and technology development and use in ocean science, climate change resilience and water resource management in Africa”.

150 African Women professional with innovative projects that respond to endogenous needs of the continent (energy, food security, education, climate change etc.) will be further trained in the fields of AI, data science, leadership, foresight and entrepreneurship. 50 of these women professionals will be further supported (coaching, seed funding etc.) to develop and scale up their projects.

AI4MORECROPS Project Team Meets with the Ministry of Agriculture for Agricultural Yield Data Collection – 22nd December 2022.

The AI4MORECROPS project team met with food security experts from the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)  to discuss available historical crop yield data. The researchers needed the agricultural yield data for maize and sorghum crops at the district level from the year 2005 to 2022. The MoA food security experts demonstrated excellent cooperation by promising to provide the agricultural yield data. The data will be used to train machine learning (ML) models that will predict yields at the district level. The benefit of having an accurate estimate of crop yields using ML models is that the government can make informed decisions and plans. The MoA was pleased and is eagerly awaiting the project’s completion, which will aid in their day-to-day operations and decision making. The PI, Dr. Alcardo Alex Barakabitze remarked that prediction of crop yields using multisource data is critical and the developed models and systems will be very helpful in ensuring food security, planning harvest management (storage, transport, and labor), and performing market planning. He further emphasized that knowing the expected yield of major food commodities (e.g., maize and sorghum) in advance of harvesting is critical for farmers and national food security. At a national level, maize and sorghum food production forecasts in the country will be used for to make better decisions on importing or exporting food commodities and their trading prices.

 

The Launching of the project – “Enhancing Farm-Scale Crop Yield Prediction Models Using Machine Learning in Tanzania’s Internet-of-Agro-ThingsProject with partners – 19th December 2022

The AI4MORECROPS has formally launched the project titled “Enhancing Farm-Scale Crop Yield Prediction Models Using Machine Learning in Tanzania’s Internet-of-Agro-Things,” on December 19, 2022. Prof. Esron Karimuribo, the Director of Postgraduate, Research, and Consultancy, at SUA officiated the project’s launch, emphasizing its importance in assisting the Ministry of Agriculture in achieving accurate crop yield monitoring and estimation and thus contributing to the Tanzania 2025 National Food Security agenda and the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically (a) Goal 1: No poverty (b) Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security, improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture and (c) Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Over 30 people from various departments/colleges from SUA attended the project kick-off workshop, including project team members (Dr. Alcardo A. Barakabitze (PI), Dr. Neema N. LyimoDr. Michael P. J. MahengeDr. Kadeghe G. Fue, and Dr. Joseph P. Telemala). The project partners (RECODA and Sahara Ventures), and outside AI4MORECROPS also attended the project.

Please, you can visit the YouTube channel for more information on the project kick-off workshop available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0YrwyyplcE.