Microsoft South Africa commits R40-million in SA agriculture sector
Microsoft South Africa has committed an amount of R40-million in South Africa’s agriculture sector, which is the country’s key player driving growth and job creation.
According to the news put out on their site, Microsoft SA will work closely with local tech companies to create innovative solutions to challenges faced in the agricultural sector.
Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa, Lillian Barnard said, “There is no doubt that South Africa’s smallholder farmers have significant potential to drive growth and employment opportunities, as well as enable other sectors within the country to ultimately drive food security.”
”This makes it critical to invest in the sector to address the challenges they face. Key challenges are a lack of infrastructure, access to competitive formal markets, production and business skills, funding and financial support to re-invest in their farming activities, and compliance with food safety regulations and legislation.”
The investment will help smallholder farmers to leverage technology to improve the economic participation and contribution, efficiencies, viability, and sustainability of their farms.
Also, the investment will help meet South Africa’s National Development Plan such as creating job opportunities and facilitating skills development to attract more women and young South Africans into key sectors such as agriculture.
“Our investment is aimed at making a real difference in one of South Africa’s most vital sectors by harnessing the power of technology. High-impact technological solutions will improve efficiencies in smallholder farming, lower the cost of production, improve access to local and international markets, improve compliance with legislation, and drive access to information, among others. By investing in the agriculture sector and unlocking the potential of technology to act as an enabler for growth and skills development, we are showing our commitment to driving sustainability and creating opportunities in one of South Africa’s most critical, job-creating industries,” Barnard added.
As a matter of fact, more than two million of these farmers help reduce poverty for local communities and establish food systems for South Africa and the wider southern African region hence the investment from Microsoft would boost the agricultural sector.
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