In 2023, Athena Infonomics undertook a Digital Agriculture Ecosystem Assessment in Mozambique under the Digital Frontiers mechanism managed by DAI.
The assessment sought to support the USAID/Mozambique Mission, to better understand, work with, and support the country’s digital agriculture ecosystem to meet development objectives. The assessment recommendations would be used to inform both current and future programming.
A diverse consortium led by Athena, conducted a mixed-methods assessment, reviewing documents, interviewing key informants, and analyzing trends and content.
Mozambique ranks near the very bottom of Sub-Saharan Africa and globally in terms of development indicators. Agriculture, contributing over a quarter to Mozambique's GDP and employing more than two-thirds of the population, predominantly smallholder farmers, encounters challenges such as limited access to improved practices and information. This, coupled with the effects of climate change, including deforestation and overfishing, contributes to a negative food import-export balance and heightened inflation in recent years.
Farmers lack basic agriculture information, with barriers including low literacy and skepticism toward ICT solutions. Mobile money shows benefits, but obstacles like cybersecurity and complex account requirements persist.
Our evaluation uncovered 67 digital agriculture solutions, mostly in the form of mobile applications, recognizing the difficulties in scaling them. In the realm of digital finance, we identified 28 interventions, facing obstacles such as stringent regulations and gaps in mobile money agent coverage.
Athena’s recommendations highlighted addressing fundamental challenges in Mozambique's digital landscape, including the pressing need for improvements in communication infrastructure, telecommunications quality, and promoting digital literacy. Emphasis was placed on collaborative policy efforts with digital-related agencies, integrating savings groups into formal finance, and stimulating digital service demand by connecting educational institutions to the internet.
The report emphasized the importance of sustainable interventions with realistic exit strategies and contextually relevant digital programming, particularly in the early stages of Mozambique's digital development.
For more information or any questions regarding this assessment, please contact Shruti Viswanathan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image Source: afronie