Today in Cameroon, Agriculture employs almost 60% of the labour force, but contributes only 22.3% of GDP, compared to the services and industry sectors employing 17% and 13% of the working population, respectively, and Contribute up to 47.9 and 29.9% of GDP.
Indeed, about 5 562 370 people working in agriculture in Cameroon live on less than a dollar a day. These people are unfortunately struggling to generate decent incomes because of the low agricultural productivity associated with yields very below at its potential.
This poverty is more pronounced in 90.4% of the agricultural population living in rural areas, of which 48% is in households with more than 8 peoples, and much more severe in 46.9% agricultural households where the head have never been in school.
Imagine Dorothy, a poor and uneducated rural farmer of 40 years old abandoned to herself with 06 children in her care following the death of her husband. To ensure the livelihood of her family, she has three options:
- Get started on the sale of agricultural products. A quick way to increase revenue directly. However, there is a high risk of price fluctuations. The narrowness of the local market leads to the deterioration of products. Its capacity alone does not allow her to sell to customers who can only buy in greater quantity.
- Expand her farm: The advantage is that she will increase her production. The extension creates additional costs and it is likely that it will clear a portion of the forest, employ three children under 15 years of age without pay or social protection, deprive her two eldest daughters of school or worse still affect 80% of resources for the health and well-being of the family in the acquisition of inputs.
- Maximizing the potential of the current crops yield: an efficient way to increase crop yield. However, its farming practices are not adapted. There is a risk of over-exploitation and degradation of natural resources. Intensification will be counterproductive without the technical knowledge, currently reserved for members of the city's producer organizations that speak well in official languages.
As you can see, none of these three options are really satisfactory to Dorothy. So, we are proposing to the poor and vulnerable rural populations a less complex, less risky and less costly shortcut to increase their yields and incomes durably.
We address this challenge by using artificial intellignence that is much more accessible and cheaper than human extension agent. Our intelligent agricultural extensionist uses the local language to help rural low-income smallholder farmers apply modern and sustainable farming methods in their own farms through a simple conversation. It will bring the technologies and new ideas of agricultural research to support the productivity of smallholders. For any farmer who needs to increase production, the intelligent extensionist allows instant access to productive technical information and reduces the risk of deteriorating production due to the ravages of diseases of Plants, bad weather conditions or poor nutrition or soil management. We will then introduce a training approach by practice on experimental fields and then on pilot fields through the relay of peer educators. Our Intelligent agricultural extensionist allows smallholders wishing to maximize the potential of their farms yield to rapidly strengthen their resilience capacity and reduce the risk of natural resource degradation such as water, land, human resources. Contrary to the self-dictated approach or that of the agricultural training centres, our intelligent extensionist accompanies the implementation of new practices by providing agricultural kits including inputs, seeds and technical information needed as well.Our extensionist will introduce a platform for linking with profitable markets and other networking opportunities with experts, actors from other related economic sectors and other farmers. This will provide quick access to relevant market information, access to wholesale buyers and pooling of transportation and logistics costs, and even more discussion forums to share experiences, acquire Cross-cutting skills and improve their conditions.