Okao Andre KagwaOkao Andre Kagwa hails from the Lango sub-region in northern Uganda, considered the country’s grain basket and a significant contributor to the GDP. He is the Head of IT at the Lango Region Rice Growers, a cooperative society that works with over 20,000 farmers. Born in a family that practices subsistence farming, he was encouraged to pursue education, which allowed him to perceive farming in his region in a different light. His current line of work makes it possible for him to learn better agricultural practices, encourage the adaptation of modern technologies, and promote easier ways for farmers to enhance their livelihood. He asserts that it would otherwise have been his unfulfilled dream to not be able to see his community transform from subsistence to commercial agriculture, where growth and livelihood improvement is realised.
Civilisation began with agriculture and remains important despite humanity changing significantly. Every country depends on agriculture, in one way or another. The sector is the primary source of several raw materials and provides for each individual’s daily needs; it provides employment opportunities to many countries and facilitates international trade among nations. These and many other reasons inspire him to be involved in the sector as best as he can.
Co-operative societies like the Lango Region Rice Growers play a central role in increasing farm productivity by providing farmers with better access to productivity-enhancing tools, technologies, and information. What is your observation on the significance and impact of such societies in improving the smallholder farmers’ quality of life?
Digitalisation for agriculture (D4Ag) is enabling African governments and non-governmental organisations to empower farmers with modern farming practices, digital tools, and access to high-quality inputs and various other services that together promote overall economic growth. How do you think digital adoption has improved agriculture productivity and farmer livelihoods? How does it support employment opportunities for women and youth in particular?
What are your expectations from technologies that enable your business? What gaps have you observed and what challenges need to be addressed?
As a tech professional in the agriculture space, what role do you see technology playing in your organisation in the future?