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Can Big Tech Change the Game for Smallholder Farmers? With IBM's Luq Niazi
To make real change for rural farming communities, the power of data must be put in the hands of smallholder farmers. As revealed in a recent Heifer International report, The Future of Africa's Agriculture: An Assessment of the Role of Youth and Technology, over 20% of youth engaged in agriculture in Africa are not using technology, and the leading barriers to access are lack of training and financing. Without open data to understand the power of technology, smallholder farmers cannot know their total needs to leverage its benefits. Effective management, leadership and collective action are needed to create trust among smallholder farmers that the power of information is in their hands.

In Honduras, Heifer International and IBM are working together to provide smallholder coffee and cocoa farmers with access to crop specific weather data and supply chain information, empowering them to increase crop yields and access better markets. In India and Africa, IBM is providing a free weather service to 4 million farmers, which will help aggregate patterns of demand and needs of smallholder farmers to support them to access the right resources. Understanding the opportunity of bringing together technologies - artificial intelligence, IOT, blockchain and mobile - and applying them systematically to the problems of smallholder agriculture can generate real impact.

Join Heifer International President and CEO, Pierre Ferrari, and IBM Global Managing Director for Consumer Industries, Luq Niazi, for a live chat on the role of big tech in putting the power of information in the hands of smallholder farmers to increase incomes, improve livelihoods and build more profitable smallholder agribusinesses.
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Sep 16, 2021 01:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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