AI and Agriculture: A Look to the Future for Africa

Self Help AfricaFundraising, News

Agriculture remains the main source of revenue for many households in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Agriculture contributes around 23% of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP, and employs more than 60% of its population. 

The African continent has 65% of the world’s remaining uncultivated arable land. 

Today, Africa’s agricultural systems have never been more vital. Older, traditional farming methods are proving effective in the wake of a changing climate. Looking to the future, the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on African agriculture is significant.

Here’s just a few of the ways that Self Help Africa are harnessing the power of technology to improve the lives of the farmers we work with:

The Fall Armyworm AI app
The Fall Armyworm AI app
  • AI-based software has ben developed to detect from satellite images, the invasive Fall Armyworm caterpillar in maize fields. Self Help Africa worked on the project in collaboration with Proveye – a company based at the UCD Nova Centre in Dublin.
  • Remote sensing software has been created to manage forests and assess carbon stocks in African forests and farms. The work is being carried out together with Treemetrics – a Cork-based forestry tech company.
  • A smartphone app that uses AI technology is being used to detect viral disease in cassava crops, long before it is apparent to the human eye. The PlantVillage Nuru was developed at Penn State University in the United States.