Framing Smallholder Digital Agriculture

June 03, 2021




Benjamin Kwasi​ Addom, Adviser, Agriculture & Fisheries Trade Policy, The Commonwealth Secretariat


The systemic challenges relating to smallholder agricultural development remain the same. This includes climate variability, decreasing farm productivity, weak trade and supply chain system, poor access to finance, and challenges including women and youth across the chain. While digitalisation is seen as a game changer in the quest for transforming smallholder agriculture across the developing world, there is lack of a common understanding of what digital agriculture is. Digitalisation, digitisation, digital innovations, digital technologies, and digital solutions are all unique concepts and terms that need to be used and operationalised appropriately to harness the full potentials within the agriculture sector. Starting with the definition of digitalisation of agriculture from the Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report, smallholder digital agriculture may be framed around 4 pillars digital innovations (consisting of digital solutions/services and digital technologies); data infrastructure (consisting of content data and user data), business development (consisting who finance or invest in the innovations); and the enabling environment for digitalisation to thrive (consisting of infrastructure and access, policies and strategies, knowledge and networking, business ecosystem, and literacy and skills).
The Webinar will give a quick overview of the framing and dive into one of the 4 pillars – data infrastructure to explore alternative scenarios, and the role governments and donors in building resilient “missing middle”.

Useful references