Revolutionizing Sierra Leone’s Agriculture: Farmerline Group and MoCTI’s Groundbreaking Tech Partnership

July 1, 2024

Farmerline Group recently announced our partnership with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Communication, Technology, and Innovation (MoCTI). This collaboration is set to transform Sierra Leone’s agricultural landscape through cutting-edge technology and innovative initiatives, addressing critical challenges and unlocking new possibilities for the future. This article throws some more light on the details of the collaboration and how this will impact the growth of tech and innovation in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone’s Tech Landscape

Sierra Leone is rapidly emerging as a tech-forward nation, with significant investments in its technology ecosystem. The government has launched ambitious projects like the Modern Tech City, aimed at fostering innovation and providing a nurturing environment for startups and tech entrepreneurs. This initiative aligns with President Julius Maada Bio’s vision of making Sierra Leone the “Estonia of Africa,” focusing on digital skills as a key exportable commodity and creating 500,000 jobs by 2028​ (AYV Media Empire)​​ (AYV Media Empire)​​ (TechCabal)​.

Key Initiatives and Activities

Tech Summit Participation

From June 11th to 14th, Farmerline Group played an active role in the Sierra Leone Innovates Tech Summit. This event brought together global tech giants, innovators, and stakeholders to advance the tech ecosystem in Sierra Leone. Our team hosted an engaging booth, participated in breakout discussions, and supported the planning and execution of the summit. One of the summit’s highlights was the Agricultural Innovation Challenge, where finalists were awarded for their groundbreaking ideas​ (SL Innovates)​​ (AYV Media Empire)​.

Signing of a Five-Year MoU

On June 12th, a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Farmerline Group and MoCTI. This MoU outlines several transformative initiatives:

  1. Development of Language and Speech Models: We are committed to developing specialized language models, including automatic speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies tailored for Sierra Leone’s agricultural sector. These models will enhance communication and accessibility for farmers.
  2. Leveraging Satellite Imagery: Using high-resolution satellite imagery, we will support critical actions such as boundary delineation, tree counting, deforestation tracking, and monitoring illegal mining activities. This initiative aims to provide accurate data for better decision-making in agriculture and environmental conservation.
  3. Accelerating Sustainable Rice Production: To boost sustainable rice production, we are implementing a secure mobile/web application to facilitate the creation of a national farmer registry, essential for unlocking investments and resources for Sierra Leone’s agricultural sector​ (​.

Mentorship Program and Innovation Workshop

On June 13th, we launched a mentorship program for the winners of the Agricultural Innovation Challenge, providing them with the resources and guidance needed to succeed. This was followed by the Tech Innovation Workshop and Challenge on June 14th, in partnership with top tech universities like Code College and Limkokwing University. Participants engaged in workshops on artificial intelligence, plant disease classification, and natural language processing, focusing on building applications and fine-tuning language models for farmer education.

Innovative Solutions: Darli AI and Krio AI Agronomist

Farmerline Group has developed Darli AI and the first-of-its-kind Krio language model to support Sierra Leone’s farmers. Darli AI is a conversational IVR solution that facilitates interactions in Krio, providing farmers with reliable information in their native language. Additionally, the Krio AI Agronomist is a chatbot available on WhatsApp that offers educational support, helping farmers make informed decisions to improve their practices and yield.

See these videos showing Darli AI and the Krio AI Agronomist in action.

The Role of Ag-Techs in Africa

Ag-tech companies like Farmerline Group are crucial in transforming Africa’s agricultural narrative. By leveraging technology, we address everyday challenges in agriculture and the food industry, from enhancing communication and providing accurate data to supporting sustainable practices. Our contributions are significant in fostering development, driving economic growth, and ensuring food security across the continent.

Our partnership with MoCTI is a testament to our shared vision of leveraging technology to empower farmers and transform agriculture in Sierra Leone. We are excited about the future and these initiatives’ positive impact on the agricultural sector and beyond.

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