AFAAS Hackathon kicks off in Uganda! Developers to innovate smart solutions for agriculture challenges

 

The future of agriculture lies in innovation. On October 4th, the Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services virtually launched a mini-hackathon to create digital solutions to challenges in three themes:

  1. Management of Agricultural Extension and advisory Services (AEAS) actors database and activities
  2. Database/repository of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) techniques, approaches, and knowledge
  3. Meteorological and weather information systems for AEAS.

 

The hackathon was organized in collaboration with the Dostrim Limited, an ICT private firm and lead of UFAAS’s Technical working group on ICT.

The hackathon is in line with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory services (AFAAS)’s objective of promoting digitalisation of agriculture and building capacities of members in ICTs. The event will take place in 10 countries in Africa namely: Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Madagascar, Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Mali.

The hackathon attracted 40 participants in a formation of 18 teams to work under the different themes above.

Speaking at the event, the CEO of UFAAS Mrs Beatrice Luzobe said that the hackathon is a way for providing smart solutions to challenges in agricultural extension and agriculture as a whole. She underscored the relevance of digitisation and encouraged participants to do their best to contribute to the agricultural sector.

“UFAAS is committed to reaching out and including the youth in the forum activities. This hackathon is a great contribution to agriculture.” concluded Beatrice.

The Team Leader for Dostrim - Mr George Sserwadda, congratulated all that participated in the hackathon, and noted that the projects would be open source, to allow innovation and building on these projects for long term sustainability. He called upon the participants to collaborate and submit concepts. 

Representing the Board of UFAAS, Ms Muheebwa Adeline, the Vice Chairperson and co-facilitator of the event, announced that the winners of each theme of the Uganda national hackathon will participate in a competitive continental hackathon in November 2021, to be crowned during the 5th Agricultural Extension Week scheduled to take place on 14-20th November 2021.

The hackathon is implemented with funding from Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme EX Pillar 4 (CAADP-XP4) Project, under the Development of Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (DeSIRA) program financed by the European Union and managed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

The DeSIRA program aims at linking agricultural research and innovation with development initiatives using more effective mechanisms for boosting the transformation of innovation in agriculture and food systems in ways that are more resilient to climate change and responsive to development demands.

On the launch of the event, participants expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the hackathon with some challenging the approach of open-source projects. All participants found the launch meeting useful and appealed to UFAAS to organize more related events.

The week-long hackathon will run as per the program below:

  • Day 1 (October 4th, 2021): Overview of the hackathon, onboarding on Git and slack; start of hacking
  • Day 2 (October 5th, 2021): Submission of concept note
  • Day 3 (October 6th, 2021): Submission of code on Git
  • Day 4 (October 7th, 2021): Code review and judging
  • Day 5 (October 8th, 2021): Announcement of finalists

Please follow hashtag #afaashack2021 for updates from the hackathon.

 

By Elizabeth Asiimwe, UFAAS CIKM Unit