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Esri partners with Microsoft to support sustainable agriculture development in Africa

To help support government and non-profit organisations on the continent address climate change, water supply and food security challenges, Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, has collaborated with Microsoft on a sustainable agriculture development initiative in Africa

Together, Esri and Microsoft will create and launch technology solutions enabling organisations in Africa to perform crop-type mapping at scale to improve agricultural management.

"Microsoft and Esri have a long history of working together, including a recent initiative to create global land-cover maps through the Planetary Computer Programme, featuring a catalogue of global environmental data from Esri's ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World," said Richard Budden, Esri's deputy general manager for the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. "We are excited to now extend that collaboration to support sustainable agriculture development in Africa."

Across the African continent, there is an urgent need to improve agricultural productivity. Deeper understanding of the current agricultural landscape, close monitoring of crop conditions throughout the growing season, and mitigation of climate change impacts will all contribute to better production and food security. Crop patterns and health can be identified, extracted, and monitored seasonally by combining Esri's geospatial artificial intelligence (GeoAI) capabilities, satellite imagery, as well as Microsoft's infrastructure and AI devices.

Having data related to water, fertiliser, and seed use accessible at the right time will help enable more sustainable agricultural practices and improve crop yield forecasts. Key stakeholders can derive insights from the data through intuitive visualisations, applications, and dashboards to make better-informed business and policy decisions.

To empower government agencies in Africa with geospatial tools in support of sustainable agriculture development, Esri recently launched the Geospatial Programme for Agriculture in Africa. The company participated in the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27) which took place from 6-20 November 2022 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.