Agriculture in Africa is being transformed by artificial intelligence (AI), but there is still one element it cannot replace. Despite dramatic technological advances in the sector in recent decades, the role of the farmer remains indispensable.

This was the message delivered last week, surprisingly, at a conference in Europe by a world leader in the field — from Eswatini. Rob Coombe, group IT manager of Royal Eswatini Sugar (RES), delivered the keynote speech at the Sapphire conference hosted by software giant SAP in Barcelona, with a case study that encapsulates 21st-century farming...

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