The Ministry of Agriculture has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate with Microsoft to accelerate innovation in the agricultural sector to boost food and nutrition security.
Agriculture Principal Secretary Prof. Hamadi Boga says under the deal, the government will strive at increasing the daily average income for farmers by a third and reduce by half the number of food-insecure Kenyans.
Low food productivity is partly blamed on low adoption of technology by farmers most of who are ageing, with the average age of a farmer in Kenya pegged at 62.
Under the deal, Microsoft will design, pilot and launch a programme to drive agricultural solutions innovation that addresses key challenges facing the agricultural sector such as pests and disease control, sustainable agricultural resource management and agri-weather data.
In pest control, Microsoft is expected to leverage its Open Data Platform and Azure Chatbot services to help farmers with agricultural pest control diagnostics.Also Read Safaricom waives MPESA fees for transactions below Ksh 1000
The initiative strives for a 34 per cent increase in the daily average income of farmers, a 47 per cent reduction in the cost of food as a percentage of income, a 50 per cent reduction in the number of food-insecure Kenyans and to create 1,000 Agro-SMEs and 600,000 new jobs.Also Read Sacco to give small-scale traders flexible stocking loans
Microsoft will work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture to recruit, train and place interns through its Interns4Afrika programme.
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