A series of information technology initiatives by IBM is set to provide an unprecedented hi-tech boost for farmers in SA and across Africa. In many cases, the projects are geared to bringing even the smallest farmer into the world of agritech.IBM has announced its backing for a small South African start-up called Omniolytics, to help transform poultry farming through the use of digital sensors linked to the IBM Cloud and its artificial intelligence platform, Watson.The poultry industry was valued at more than R46bn in 2019, and makes up more than 16% of the total value of agricultural production in SA. The local poultry industry faces numerous challenges, including the quality and origins of feeds, high feed prices and recurring avian flu and other disease outbreaks. In 2018, avian flu cost the economy close to R1bn.With the help of IBM, Omniolytics uses Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to collect data on the environmental conditions of poultry facilities, management activi...

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