Covid-19 has posed further challenges to Africa’s food and agriculture sector and to its millions of smallholder farmers. At the same time the pandemic has accelerated efforts to develop innovative digital technologies. For digitalisation to become a changemaker in Africa’s agriculture and to enhance food security while creating employment for young people in the agricultural sector, it is crucial to place smallholders' needs front and center. The session discussed how the needs of smallholder farmers in Africa may be addressed and how digital skills and technologies play a key role in that journey.
The digital transformation can bring many benefits to smallholder farmers in Africa, including access to training, access to markets and possibilities for mobile banking and financing. The panel discussed how digital tools can both make sure that farmers are getting the right products and inputs and allow them to check whether these are counterfeit or not, in addition to ensuring that farmers are selling their produce at the right prices. Digitalisation can also help agriculture become more attractive for the younger generation who often associate farming with poverty.