Hackathon 2021 Background


Theme: “Developing Smart Innovations for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services in Africa”

The project supports a science and innovation-led and climate-relevant agricultural transformation in Africa and aims at strengthening the capacities of the organizations (AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF, and FARA) to deliver on their Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) mandate and to collectively support African countries implement relevant programs of the CAADP through inclusive regional and international partnerships; production and exchange of climate-relevant agricultural knowledge; effective communication, monitoring, and evaluation; promotion of systemic and effective use of science, knowledge, and innovation; and representation of the Sub Regional and National Organizations at Continental level.

The Hackathon Themes:
1. Management of AEAS actors’ database and activities: Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Systems (AEASS) in Africa has been neglected and underdeveloped since decades. This has also resulted in a lack of intelligence and weak decisions in the sector resulting in poor production and poverty of farmers in rural areas of Africa.

2. Database of CSA techniques, approaches and knowledge: Climate change is hitting everywhere on Earth from the Poles to the Equator and farmers, the mass food producers, are among the most affected. In recent years, Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) and related topics (Agroecology, Permaculture, Conservation Agriculture, Precision Agriculture, Organic farming …) has become a generalized movement in Northern and well as Global South countries. Although there are lots of techniques, approaches and knowledge available on CSA, many Extension workers and producers don’t know enough about it.

3. Weather information updates and crop calendar: Climate change has affected farmers across Africa. In the recent years, changes and shifts in seasons has destabilized farmers’ routines resulting in seed loss or other disruptions in the other phases of crop culture. A reliable crop calendar system combined with a periodical and precise weather updates and forecast are necessary to help farmers and extension workers to ensure food security. This topic will deal with this issue of weather information updates and crop calendar.Many organisations, such as FAO (https://cropcalendar.apps.fao.org/), are proposing crop calendars. But these tools are not enough to navigate in the context of climate change

Expected Outcome:
The expected outcome is improved effectiveness of African knowledge and innovation systems, demand-driven public policies on agricultural research and extension services, and enhanced knowledge sharing and technology development for climate change adaptation and mitigation of agriculture and food systems.

Post Hackathon Intervention:
For long-term sustainability and to ensure wide participation of developers in improving the solutions later, AFAAS will encourage groups of developers to join efforts and start open-source projects. The development of solutions for the 3 different categories will be supported by AFAAS through a competitive grant to be discerned to the most promising teams of developers.

The Programme Structure
The program activities will be in three parts:
a. Pre-event
b. Event
c. Post-event