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October 5th, 2018 / Reuters

“A simple text to a farmer just to say, ‘The weather outlook for the next three days is this’ can fundamentally change what they do.”

Africa has the world’s youngest population – 60 percent of its 1.2 billion people are under 25 – but only 3 million jobs are created for some 12 million young people who enter the workforce each year, the African Development Bank says.

While developed nations turn to robots, blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning to solve agricultural challenges, simple, mobile phone-based offerings could produce great results in Africa, experts say.

A free app, which was created by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), also provides information on weather, market prices for crops, and producing and conserving nutritious foods.

“Digital technologies like these can make farming more interesting,” said Andy Jarvis, research director at Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Read more