Artificial intelligence for agriculture and food systems innovation research network
Africa’s population is expected to reach about 2.6 billion by 2050. This will require an increase in food production by up to 70% to fill the needs of the population, a serious challenge for agriculture and food systems. Such a requirement, in a context of resource scarcity, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and very harsh socioeconomic conditions, may be easier to attain with the application of emerging technologies and innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI) to leapfrog the transformations required in the sector.
The main objective of this initiative is to advance the responsible development, deployment, and scaling of homegrown AI research and innovations to tackle pressing challenges in agriculture and food systems in Africa. This will be accomplished by setting up, managing, and supporting an innovation research network on AI for agriculture and food systems. This network will consist of six to ten innovation research projects that will develop, deploy, test, and seek to scale responsible and African-led AI research and innovations. This research will deepen our understanding of how to develop, deploy, and scale responsible AI innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems in Africa. The project will also seek to use these lessons learned to inform African and international AI policy and practice conversations.
This project is part of the innovation stream of the Artificial Intelligence for Development Africa (AI4D Africa) program, which is dedicated to a future in which Africans across all regions create and use AI to lead healthier, happier, and greener lives. AI4D Africa is co-funded by IDRC and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Responsible artificial intelligence for Africa's agriculture and food systems : challenges and opportunities
Africa’s population is expected to reach about 2.6 billion by 2050. This will require an increase of up to 70% in food production. This Working Paper aims to showcase the challenges and opportunities in the responsible development, deployment, and scaling of homegrown artificial intelligence research and innovations in Africa to tackle pressing challenges in agriculture and food systems. If responsibly applied, AI in agriculture and food systems is a panacea for Africa’s development. Core principles of responsible AI use must be mainstreamed to ensure human-centered design, privacy, and intellectual property compliance, with ethics and robustness.
Author(s): Ozor, Nicholas, Nwakaire, Joel, Nyambane, Alfred, Muhatiah, Wentland, Tonnang, Henri, Salifu, Daisy
Artificial intelligence for agriculture and food systems (AI4AFS) innovation research network project implementation brief
Author(s): Ozor, Nicholas, Nwakaire, Joel