How the data revolution could help design better agronomic investments
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
What fertilizer application will give me the best returns? What maize crop variety should I use?
Each farmer faces constraints related to weather uncertainty, soil fertility management challenges, or access to finance and markets. To improve their yields and incomes, African smallholder farmers need agronomic advice adapted to their specific circumstances. The challenge is even greater in sub-Saharan Africa, where agricultural production landscapes are highly diverse.
However, traditional agronomic research was not designed to fit with complex agroecological regions and farming systems. Compounding the problem, research organizations often have limited resources to develop the necessary experiments to generate farm- and site-specific agronomic advice at scale.