Stories tagged: internet

Dennis Odera: Providing Information, The Cornerstone of Agribusiness

In this guest post, Dennis Odera, Africa Business Coordinator for WeFarm, outlines the importance of getting agricultural information to rural entrepreneurs and how WeFarm delivers on this.

At face value, food security and unemployment are words that have very little in common. If you look at the words through an agricultural lens, however, similarities start to pop up.

Africa currently has two resources that are available in abundance – land and people. With the rise in world population, there is a steady high demand for a certain commodity – food. How then can Africa make the most out of its abundant resources to fulfil a world need? Continue reading

New Fiber-optic Cables for Africa Make Info Gathering Quicker, More Reliable

Fibre-optic cables in AfricaIn July this year, the first of four undersea fibre-optic cables went live, connecting Africans along the eastern corridor to high-speed broadband internet.  The lines touch ground in Mombasa (Kenya), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Maputo (Mozambique), and Mtunzini (South Africa).

This new cable should substantially reduce the time it takes to seek out information online, the cost of making calls abroad, and the technical obstacles which small-scale businesses have faced in launching data-heavy websites.  Some experts speculate that it could also boost activity in commodity and stock exchanges.

The importance of infrastructure to economic development is clear.  And for agriculture, this has traditionally meant the building of irrigation systems, of utilities, and of roads to markets.

Yet, in today’s world, a fast and reliable connection to information is also important for farmers. More severe and variable weather patterns as a result of climate change mean that farmers need better meteorological information and planting advice.  Increasingly globalised markets require up-to-date information on prices and regulations abroad.  And online marketing of crops can help cooperatives and other smaller-scale farm groups make more profit from the crops they grow.