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Digitalising agriculture

Agriculture has long played a pivotal role in the development of modern society.

Today, our planet faces a food crisis on an unprecedented level.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations predicts the world population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050. To meet this growing demand, the world will need to produce 50% more food than at current levels. In other words, we need to grow more food over the next 50-years than in the last 10,000 combined.

Factors such as climate change, the volatility of food prices and social issues such as poverty and education make tackling the food crisis complex.

There is also a growing need to address the environmental impact of agriculture. In Europe, agriculture accounts for 10% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and over 40% of EU land use, in many cases leading to habitat loss and deforestation.

By digitising farming and bringing technology into the agriculture sector, we hope to empower farmers to increase production sustainability while reducing their environmental impact.

200X

We need more food in the next 50 years than in the last 10,000

9.1 billion

We need more food in the next 50 years than in the last 10,000

40%

EU land used for agriculture

Our commitments

Digital farming represents a unique opportunity to create value and business opportunities by applying data-driven solutions. Through connectivity and digital technology, we are committed to helping improve resource efficiency, productivity, environmental processes, animal health and welfare, and contribute to mitigating climate change.

Platforms for sustainable agriculture

Through Vodacom’s subsidiary, Mezzanine, we are digitalising agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa by giving smallholder farmers access to agricultural inputs, financial services like insurance, logistics suppliers, buyers and markets and knowledge through a digital agri-ecosystem called Connected Farmer. With over 2.1 million smallholder farmers registered, the platform allows an ecosystem of partners to register, profile, communicate and transact (using M-Pesa in some cases) with each other.

To support larger commercial farmers, Mezzanine developed MyFarmWeb, a cloud-based web platform that allows a producer to capture agricultural information (physical, chemical, and microbial soil analysis, pest presence, satellite and remote sensing information and data from various internet connected farming sensors) into a system that aggregates and calibrates the data to assist in best practice decision-making. This helps farmers to increase yield whilst not damaging the environment.

Over 6,800 farms across Africa, USA, Australia and New Zealand use MyFarmWeb, and we are excited about the potential of further expansion of this platform.

Our strategy in action

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Contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Vodafone and Vodafone Foundation use our connectivity and technology to provide young people access to new or broader learning opportunities.

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Increased access to connectivity and our digital services – especially for women and those living in rural areas – through our network offers the possibility of greater equality of opportunity for economically disadvantaged people.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We drive energy efficiency in our networks. Vodafone is also committed to reusing, reselling or recycling 100% of our redundant network equipment.

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