Using Artificial Intelligence to Help Smallholder Farmers Combat Climate Change

 

Over the last few years, climate-smart agriculture(CSA) has been fronted as a way to help smallholder farmers cope with the effects of climate change and remain food and nutrition secure. In Sub-Saharan Africa, up to 80% of the population is heavily dependent on rain-fed agriculture by smallholder farmers. In most cases, these farmers are reliant on intuition and years of experience to plant their crops and feed their livestock. But as climate change worsens, it’s becoming harder to rely on intuition and experience alone. 

 

As the majority of crop production in sub-Saharan Africa is by subsistence farming, CSA interventions need to be made at both the policy and household levels. However, to achieve the goal to be sustainably food secure, we need to maximize and improve farm productivity. Farmers require support in the form of access to extension services and early warning systems, access to quality inputs and seeds that are more resilient to climate change, and other agronomic best practices. Additionally, access to accurate data on each crop production cycle supports data-driven decision-making by agriculture and nutrition policymakers.  

 

With advancements in technology, governments and other stakeholders are increasingly turning towards AI to support decision-making in the agriculture and nutrition sectors. In th