The government of Kenya has chosen Agrvision to provide AI powered technology to aid in developing a nation-wide unified platform for crop monitoring and yield forecasting. This technology by Agrvision is powered by both satellite imagery and artificial intelligence.
The Agritech firm has signed an MoU with the Directorate of Resource Surveys & Remote Sensing (DRSRS) for a five-year strategic partnership plan. The MoU was signed by Deputy Director of DRSRS Charles Situma and the Chief Operations Officer of Agrvision Oscar Mwai at the DRSRS head office in Nairobi opening a direct engagement between the two institutions on the implementation of a road map for a Nationwide crop forecasting and monitoring system in Kenya.
For a long time, the Agricultural sector in Kenya has been need of a technological platform that can aid in the social and economic development of agriculture and forestry sectors in Kenya. Charles Situma has lauded the technological development saying it is crucial to the Kenyan Agricultural and Forestry sectors.
“As the official institution advising the Government of Kenya on matters related to Remote Sensing and Geographical Information systems(GIS) and gathering of data on the environment and natural resources around the country , DRSRS entered into this strategic collaboration with Agrvision to work together with an Agri- tech expert in developing the right digital tools and usage of advanced data collection and analytics technologies that can help the agricultural sector and decision makers in the country, have full visibility and data driven decisions that enhance food security programs to achieve better sustainable results,” Situma said.
The Agricultural sector, including crops and livestock, is one of the most important sectors in the Kenyan economy with around 30% contribution to the GDP. It is the main source of livelihoods for the many Kenyans in terms of food security, economic growth, employment creation, off-farm employment, and foreign exchange earnings.
However, the sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change largely due to the increasing temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and extreme weather events with poor agricultural practices, low quality inputs and lack of access to knowledge.
Serious steps and programs need to be adapted to ensure provision of adequate food for a growing population and to increase export crops to generate foreign exchange.
Climate change is not a remote future event, it has already started and the effect in the agriculture and forestry sector is high, and as part of government already running programs toward food security to decrease climate change effect in the sector, traditional ways and agricultural practices which are based on poor experiences are not sufficient.
In this light, a full transformation in the agricultural sector is needed, in which data to play the major role for better, more timely and actionable knowledge is a precursor.
“This is where DRSRS found the interest to work with Agrvision in using and customizing their well-developed crop monitoring and forecasting digital tools to develop a unified platform to work as the main sources for data collection and analytics to the agriculture sector,” Mr. Situma further stated.
On his part, Agrvision Chief Operations Officer Oscar Mwai says that they believe agriculture technology needs to be made universally accessible and practical, by using cutting-edge AI/ML models and algorithms to analyse big Agri-data. This is the data collected to provide highly-precise information about fields, crops, and forests. The data is crucial as it participates in the agricultural transformation journey with government institutions and decision makers for creation of more sustainable food security programs.
With this strategic collaboration and long term partnership with DRSRS , Agrvision mission is to work closely with DRSRS team to develop and customize the unified platform with interactive digital map classifying all crops around the country powered by AI with field boundaries and have real time analytics for crop monitoring and rotation , weather forecast and soil moisture to be collected from high resolution satellite imagery and specialized drones to be able to provide predictive analytics and yield forecasts .