Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series - Digital Agriculture Roadmaps: A step towards digital agriculture transformational journey Learnings from Ethiopia

"Digital technologies are potentially revolutionary solutions to improve the performance and sustainability of food and agriculture systems."

Digital technologies are potentially revolutionary solutions to improve the performance and sustainability of food and agriculture systems. However, there has been a strong divide in access and adoption of digital technologies between low, middle, and high-income countries. One of the probable causes is unsynchronized efforts by different stakeholders including governments, donor organizations, and private sector players among others. Thus, a country-level Digital Agriculture roadmap is crucial to develop an intense and dense digital ecosystem, harmonizing efforts, identifying blind spots, and using the resources efficiently for delivering multiplier effects in the digital agricultural transformational journey. The Digital Agriculture roadmap should provide the policymaker with a context of the present situation and equip them with strategic and implementation frameworks.

Boston Consulting Group (BCG), in 2021, in collaboration with the BMGF, developed comprehensive digital agriculture profiles for a series of 14 geographies (11 countries in Africa and 3 states in India) – these profiles included a detailed overview of the broader economic, agricultural, and digital context, an assessment of the digital stack across key digital agriculture use cases, as well as a mapping of key players in the digital ecosystem. BCG also used an iterative process to develop a four-stage maturity model and segmentation of regions. 

Building on these learnings, the National Roadmap for Digital Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) roadmap was developed using a constructive and iterative approach, engaging multi-sectoral stakeholders, both from Ethiopia and other parts of the world. The Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia in partnership with the Agricultural Transformation Institute has developed a National Roadmap for Digital Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) until 2030 in collaboration with the development partners. The DAEAS roadmap defines the vision for Ethiopia by 2030. The goal of DAEAS is to improve the agricultural sector and farmer livelihoods within Ethiopia. The four DAEAS objectives are to (a) increase farmers’ productivity and income, (b) improve farmers’ climate resilience, (c) advance inclusion of women and youth farmers, and (d) improve nutrition and food security. To reach this vision and overcome the challenges mentioned above, the DAEAS roadmap proposes 30 actions organized under six pillars: Pillar 1 - Solutions Pipeline, Pillar 2 - Hardware and Connectivity, Pillar 3 - Data and Analytics, Pillar 4 - Policy and Governance, Pillar 5 - Human Capital, and Pillar 6 - Business Environment. The DAEAS roadmap also includes an implementation plan, governance structure, and reporting routine to ensure successful implementation of the roadmap. 

In this webinar, speakers shared their vision, the methodology adopted, key findings, and key lessons across these efforts that will enable different partners to craft, and scale comprehensive, focused, digital agriculture roadmaps in other parts of Africa and the world.  

Stewart Collis from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in his introductory speech covered the vision and thought process behind the diagnostic studies and digital agriculture roadmaps. 

Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju from BCG detailed he approaches, and methodology tools adopted for the development of digital agriculture roadmaps in Ethiopia and across different geographies. 

Dr. Mandefro Nigussie from Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency shared the process adopted and key learnings from the Digital Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services (DAEAS) roadmap development process from Ethiopia. Dr. Nigussie also shared the role played by the government and other stakeholders. 

About the Presenters

Parmesh Shah

Global Lead, Data-driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, climate smart agriculture, Agriculture and technology enabled start-ups, venture and patient capital for innovation, promotion of on-farm , off-farm and digital jobs and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a global program on scaling up data driven digital agriculture involving data platforms and establishing ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.

Stewart Collis

Senior Program Officer, Digital Agriculture Solutions, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation  

Stewart Collis is  a Senior Program Officer of Digital Agriculture Solutions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Collis has over 20 years’ experience in agricultural information technology. A graduate of the University of New South Wales in Geomatic Engineering, Mr. Collis worked at the CGIAR and Texas A&M University on crop simulation, agro-climatic modeling, and software development. He then co-founded aWhere, a Benefit Corporation focused on agricultural intelligence, information and insight to help increase food production, improve efficacy and mitigate climate risk in agriculture. His focus at the Gates Foundation is Digital Farmer Services and Smart Farming solutions. 

Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju

Principal, Boston Consulting Group 

Shruthi Baskaran-Makanju is a member of the Social Impact practice at Boston Consulting Group. She is an expert in food systems, agriculture, and nutrition, with extensive experience leading agricultural development work across Sub-Saharan Africa. Shruthi is passionate about food systems, innovation in resource-constrained environments, and the impact of consumer behavior on development in both developed and emerging markets. In her client work, Shruthi is focused on bringing systems-based approaches to global agricultural markets, and believes in multi-sectoral approaches grounded in deep partnerships to solve the complex challenges that affect our food systems today. She has worked on several aspects of the ecosystem to design holistic, sustainable solutions to create long-term change.  Previously, Shruthi worked with the UN World Food Programme, as the Mission Lead for the Patient Procurement Platform, and as Special Assistant to the Director of Innovation & Change Management.

Dr. Mandefro Nigussie

CEO, Agriculture Transformation Institute 

Mandefro Nigussie is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). The Agency is an initiative of the Government of Ethiopia, established by federal regulation to promote agricultural sector transformation in Ethiopia by identifying solutions to systemic bottlenecks in key program areas. Prior to joining the ATA, Mandefro served as a State Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and led the Agriculture Development Sub-sector of the Ministry. The Sub-sector consisted of Crop Production, Agricultural TVET, Agricultural Extension, Mechanization, Regulatory and Mega Projects such as the Agricultural Growth Program. Before his appointment to a State Minister, Mandefro was the Director General of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and Country Manager of AGRA and Deputy Regional Director of Oxfam America. Mandefro has led the development of several agricultural policies, various programs in the areas of advocacy, relief, development, climate change, agricultural extension performance management systems. He also published various articles in books, journals, proceedings, and research reports in the area of crop sciences, marketing and entrepreneurship, and biotechnology & biosafety. He holds BSc, MSc and PhD in Plant Sciences, Agronomy and Genetics and Plant Breeding, respectively. And also holds MBA.

Elliot W. Mghenyi

Lead Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Elliot W. Mghenyi is Lead Agriculture Economist in the World Bank’s Sustainable Development Practice Group. His main responsibilities are to lead policy engagement, coordinate investment projects and advisory services and analytics, and contribute to global knowledge on sustainable development in complex environments. Elliot is a trained agricultural, food and resource economist with deep and broad expertise in agribusiness and food systems, food price policies, natural resource management, climate smart agriculture, public expenditure management, and impact evaluations. He has worked extensively across South Asia, Africa, and East Asia, including managing complex investment programs and providing technical assistance and advisory services to client countries and regional organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics from Michigan State University and has published widely in this field.

Ashwini Rekha Sebastian

Senior Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Ashwini Rekha Sebastian is the Senior Agriculture Economist with the Agriculture and Food Global Practice for Western and Central Africa region, currently based in Accra Ghana. She was previously working in the Latin America and Caribbean region for 5 years. She works on operations and analytics for sustainable, productive, inclusive agri-food systems.  Prior to joining the World Bank, Ashwini worked as an Economist at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) and has also previously worked with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Ashwini holds a Ph.D. and MSc in Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, and an MSc in Economics from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Marie-Agnès Jouanjean

Agriculture Economist, Data-driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Marie-Agnès Jouanjean is an Economist with the Agriculture and Food Global Practice at the World Bank. She focuses on data-driven and digital agriculture, exploring how digital technologies can support the transformation of agri-food systems in developing countries, and the role of governments to maximize efficiency, equity, and environmental sustainability outcomes. Prior to joining the World Bank, Marie-Agnès worked at the OECD where she developed policy-oriented analysis on various dimensions of digital technologies in agriculture and trade as well as on Global Value Chains (GVCs). She also worked for a Think Tank (Overseas Development Institute (ODI)) and a range of International Organizations on barriers to trade (infrastructure, services, NTMs), regional integration, economics of resilience and climate change adaptation. Marie-Agnès holds a PhD in International Economics from Sciences Po Paris, that she did in collaboration with the research centre, LICOS, in KULeuven. She also has a degree as an Agronomist (IRC-CNEARC/Montpellier SupAgro and ENSAIA National School of Agronomics and Food Industry).

Questions Submitted


- Nov 12, 2022
Interesting contents.

jose luis

- Nov 1, 2022
muy bueno
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