By: Prossy Nandudu-Uganda
After landing in Kenya last week, the big data roadshow continued to Uganda. CIAT together with the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry & Fisheries (MAAIF), with support from the World Bank, hosted the roadshow in Uganda on May 26th.
It was designed to bring together practitioners from Colombia, Kenya, USA and Uganda to share their experiences in leveraging big data for better decision making, planning, and evidence based policy making and overall smart agriculture management.
Permanent secretary of MAAIF, Vincent Rubarema, in his opening remarks stated that the meeting should come up with solutions to transform agricultural sector of Uganda. “With the right information, farmers will produce more; employ better farming practices, and learn about prices, available markets and the weather patterns” said Rubarema.
Uganda is already leading the way in some areas. For example, John Quinn, a data scientist from UN Global Pulse, presented a case on leveraging big data technologies for automating crop and disease detection in Uganda. Talip Kilic from Survey Unit of the World Bank presented the work implemented jointly with Uganda Bureau of Statistics on using remote satellite sensing for maize yield estimation.
Robert Kintu, Managing Director of FIT Uganda, presented an example of local solutions providing information for farmers. Dr. Holger Kray, Head of Africa Agricultural Policy Unit of the World Bank, who delivered the key note address, highlighted the role of setting the right policies to increase productivity, improve market access and resilience to the changing weather.
“We worked closely with MAAIF to organize this event with the aim to create a platform where innovators from other countries can share information and practical lessons to help Uganda implement data-driven solutions and promote smart agricultural practices,” said Luda Bujoreanu from Innovation Labs of the World Bank.