Highlights from the 2nd AfCPA
2nd African Conference on Precision Agriculture Forming Scientific, Technological and Educational Solutions for Farmers
The precision agriculture forum brought together experts from across the globe to discuss how the discipline can be best applied to benefit African farmers.
The 2nd African Conference on Precision Agriculture (AfCPA) concluded on December 9th after 2.5 days of sessions designed to bring together experts in precision agriculture (PA) from across Africa and around the World to discuss the PA discipline within the African context, and how best it can be applied for the benefit of African farmers.
AfCPA is a biennial event organized by the African Plant Nutrition Institute (APNI) through its partnerships with the International Society of Precision Agriculture (ISPA), the African Association for Precision Agriculture (AAPA), and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P).
The ongoing mission of AfCPA is to build a forum dedicated to “connecting the science and practice needed to put precision agriculture in action for Africa.” The conference was structured as a hybrid event with the main conference site in Nairobi, Kenya, and 10 other in-person satellite sites distributed across North, West, East, and Southern Africa. The sessions were also available globally via Livestream.
Over the course of the 2.5 days, the main program from Nairobi featured 7 keynote speakers, 20 plenary presentations, and 3 in-depth panel discussions. At the close of the conference, the conference featured over 140 presenters from the main and satellite sites and via live, and pre-recorded, on-demand content. AfCPA 2022 attracted an audience of 700+ registrants representing 34 countries (18 in Africa).
Topics during the meeting spanned a wide range including software and mobile applications, robotics, automation, and small farm mechanization, proximal and remote sensing, precision water management, precision planting/harvesting, precision nutrient management, precision agriculture for tree crops, precision agriculture for smallholders, policy support innovations. The Conference Proceedings are due to be released at the end of March 2023 and will be free to download from the conference website: https://PAAfrica.org
‘This second edition of AfCPA has offered opportunities for many people to come together and share ideas, and exchange knowledge in regard to precision agriculture in all its aspects, in terms of science, practice, and in terms of dealing with perceptions and skepticism but most importantly in terms of discussing the path forward.’ Dr. Kwame Agyei Frimpong, Lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, and Past President of the African Association for Precision Agriculture (AAPA).
‘The first edition of the conference [held in 2020] put precision agriculture on the map and helped gain interest and recognition, and now in this second edition, we’re beginning to see more applications coming in from the field and success stories that can be shared with others. It’s very encouraging to see how this area of work is growing because this is what’s required for smallholders in Africa.’ Dr. Keith Shepard, Chief Scientist at iSDA.
Satellite sites offered local plenary sessions which extended the scope of the conference and gave researchers an opportunity to discuss regional-specific issues. The 10 AfCPA partner organizations serving as national satellite site hosts were:
- National Polytechnic Institute Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INP-HB), Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
- National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS), Cairo, Egypt
- Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
- CSIR-Savanna Agriculture Research Institute, Tamale, Ghana
- Nassarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria
- University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
- Advanced School of Agronomy/University of Lomé (ESAUL), Lomé, Togo
- National Institute of Agronomic Research of Tunisia (INRAT), Tunis, Tunisia
- College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences , Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
- Plant Production Sciences and Technologies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe
The main AfCPA Conference site was at Nairobi, Kenya, which was connected to a network of 10 satellite sites distributed across North, West and Eastern Africa.
APNI Precision Agriculture Awards Presented
At the close of the conference, Program Chair, Dr. Steve Philips announced the recipients of Agriculture Award . This award is intended to recognize APNI’s 2022 Precision outstanding activity in the field of precision agriculture research, outreach, or education in Africa. Awards of US$2,500 were conferred to two early career scientists. Dr. Mbulisi Sibanda is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Geography, Environmental Studies and Tourism, University of the Western Cape Mr. Femi Adekoya, Managing Director, Integrated Aerial Precision Ltd, Nigeria , is a plant health scientist by training, an AgriTech professional, and an experienced practitioner in the agricultural & horticultural industry.
New AAPA Executive Elected
Election resultsfor the African Association for Precision Agriculture (AAPA) were also announced during the conference. The newly appointed and elected members included:
President: Vincent Aduramigba-Modupe, Africa Centre Director of the International Nitrogen Initiative; and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, Ibadan, Nigeria
Past President: Kwame Frimpong, Lecturer in Soil Science & Soil Fertility, University of Cape Coast, Ghana
President-Elect: Nicodeme Fassinou, Assistant Professor in Crop Physiology, Maître Assistant des Universités du CAMES, Benin
Secretary: Zakarias Hazzoumi, Researcher, Moroccan Foundation for Advanced Science Innovation and Research, Rabat, Morocco
Regional Representative (North Africa): Mouna Mechri, Chief Engineer, National Institute of Field Crops (INGC), Bousalem, Tunisia
Regional Representative (West Africa): Jean M. Sogbedji, Professor of Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition, and Director of the Soil, Climate and Crop Sciences Interface Laboratory at the University of Lomé
Regional Representative (Central Africa): Marcel Fodjo, Research Student, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Regional Representative (East Africa): Musa Mishamo Musa, Regional Sales Manager, Hexagon Agriculture, Dar es salaam, Tanzania
Regional Representative (Southern Africa): Regis Chikiwo, Agronomy Associate Professor, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
For more information about AfCPA, please visit our website: https://PAAfrica.org