EAI International Conference on Technology, R&D, Education and Economy for Africa

Research Article

Using Technological Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility to Connect Africa’s Smallholder Farmers to the Global Sustainable Agriculture Economy

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/eai.21-3-2018.2275685,
        author={Lynnette Widder and Amenawon Igharo and Sean Meriwether},
        title={Using Technological Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility to Connect Africa’s  Smallholder Farmers to the Global Sustainable Agriculture Economy},
        proceedings={EAI International Conference on Technology, R\&D, Education and Economy for Africa},
        publisher={EAI},
        proceedings_a={TREE},
        year={2018},
        month={8},
        keywords={africa cell phone connectivity corporate social responsibility food security innovation lean data radio play reforestation smallholder farmers smartphone sustainable agriculture economy technology traditional knowledge uganda responsible sourcing sustainable sourcing value chain},
        doi={10.4108/eai.21-3-2018.2275685}
    }
    
  • Lynnette Widder
    Amenawon Igharo
    Sean Meriwether
    Year: 2018
    Using Technological Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility to Connect Africa’s Smallholder Farmers to the Global Sustainable Agriculture Economy
    TREE
    EAI
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.21-3-2018.2275685
Lynnette Widder1,*, Amenawon Igharo1, Sean Meriwether1
  • 1: Columbia University
*Contact email: lw268@columbia.edu

Abstract

Smallholder farmers commonly use sustainable farming practices out of tradition or financial necessity, but are not participating in the global sustainable agriculture economy. At the same time, increased awareness of social and environmental issues and growing consumer influence have encouraged corporations to engage in social entrepreneurship and/or use sustainably-sourced products in their supply chain. Currently each company must conduct its own research to source the agricultural commodities that it needs and develop relationships with its sources, slowing broadscale adoption. A framework to bridge these two groups in mutually beneficial relationships is being developed by adapting existing technology in innovative ways to leverage native knowledge as a common good while simultaneously connecting smallholders with corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs to fulfill their companies’ missions.