Advisory Program

IFC and Microsoft Partnership: Promoting Digital Transformation in Africa’s Agribusinesses

Agribusiness contributes about 25 percent of Africa’s GDP and 70 percent of its employment. However, supply chains of many agribusinesses in Africa are fragmented and suffer from poor information flows. Additionally, many farmers rely on traditional agronomic practices and technologies that are under increasing pressure from climate-related shocks. Digital technology can improve the operation of key supply chains in the food system through greater agricultural efficiencies, improved business practices, traceability, food safety and, access to finance. 

To support digital transformation in Africa's agribusiness sector, modernize supply chains and boost farmers' productivity and incomes, IFC and Microsoft, through its Africa Transformation Office (ATO), have partnered to make digital tools and training resources more accessible to small-scale farmers, and agriculture-linked small businesses.  


Description of the Digital Tools

Through the partnership, digital tools such as Microsoft’s AgBot and Community Training applications are integrated with IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program to provide better information, newer technologies, and management capacity training to agribusinesses, farmers and cooperatives.

Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP)

IFC’s Agribusiness Leadership Program (ALP) is a training and coaching curriculum that prepares farmer organizations to enhance their productivity and business performance through classroom training and coaching. The ALP is available on the Microsoft Community Training (MCT) desktops, tablets, and smartphones platforms using multiple formats, such as videos, animations, infographics, quizzes, and templates. The digital ALP can be used by learners to recall what they learned during the in-person sessions and can also be used to reach those who are unable to attend in person training sessions.

IFC ALP Metrics

The IFC ALP Metrics is a mobile-phone based rapid assessment tool for producer organizations, agro-retailers and model farmers that provides a basic assessment of their business management practices and measures their operational and financial performance. The automated ALP Metrics generate near real-time reports via Microsoft PowerBi to help farmers and SMEs better understand their strengths and weaknesses as businesses. The reports provide a benchmark against which progress can be measured. The reports also enable more tailored training services to be provided. Some market actors such as banks and crop buyers may also find ALP Metrics helpful for identifying business partners.

Microsoft AgBot

The Microsoft AgBot is a customizable messaging-based system that delivers information to farmers using USSD, SMS, or channels such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Using the AgBot, farmers receive messages with training content that will supplement the in-person training they receive. It will enhance the training experience by providing localized information to participants who would like to continue their learning experience after the training. The AgBot can also be used to transmit training content to farmers who based in more remote areas and are not able to attend in-person training. Through the AgBot, farmers will also be able to access weather forecast information, soil testing information, market prices, and agricultural news.

How to Partner with IFC and Microsoft

For more information, please contact:

Follow Us:

To stay up to speed with trends in emerging market agribusiness, follow the IFC Agribusiness LinkedIn