IBM, U.S. to Use Blockchain, AI to Boost Agribusiness

As African frican nations struggle to feed their populations, a projected 11 million more people born each year make that an even greater challenge. One answer to the ongoing demand for food: high tech agribusiness, starting in Ethiopia and expected to spread to other parts of the continent.

IBM Research has teamed up with United States-based agriculture tech firm Hello Tractor to boost the African agriculture industry with blockchain. The partnership was described in a December 11 blog post on IBM’s official website.

According to the post, the IBM Research division in Kenya is working with Hello Tractor’s developers to apply various tools and technologies, including blockchain, to the Hello Tractor mobile platform that enables farmers to access tractor services on demand.

Specifically, IBM Research scientists will incorporate blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to Hello Tractor’s tool platform. IBM Research also intends to integrate the platform with its own cloud solution, IBM Cloud, as well as Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture, a jointly-developed agribusiness tool based on artificial intelligence (AI).

In Africa in general, only 20 percent of crops are managed by modern machinery, while a huge amount of crops are left to die in the fields. Another issue is poor planting practices.

By having the use of tractors and having the system set up to manage and move the tractors where they are most needed at the times when they are needed, farmers can make a huge impact on the food supply of the entire continent.

Helen Partz wrote the original article.