Digital solutions for agriculture

Entrepreneurial ecosystems, Sustainable agriculture
In Niger, Swisscontact is developing a digital information platform for agricultural entrepreneurs to network and have better business opportunities. In Cambodia, an app supports agricultural businesses on the path toward regenerative agriculture.

Niger: Digital platform by women for women

The goal of PROMEL (Programme de promotion de l’entreprenariat local) is to foster local entrepreneurship, placing particular emphasis on empowering women. To this end, Swisscontact is developing a platform that facilitates exchange between agricultural stakeholders.

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Its unstable economy is reliant on agriculture and thus vulnerable to climate risks and price fluctuations in the raw materials sector. There is barely any investment, and women and young people, in particular, are living in extreme poverty. With this project, over the next years, Swisscontact will support 2,500 agricultural businesses access better job and business opportunities.

Practical knowledge platform 

Through a digital information platform, market actors gain simple access to information and markets and will have better opportunities to network with each other. The platform is also accessible via mobile phone without an internet connection. As a knowledge repository, the platform holds information about good agricultural practices that can enhance their resilience against climate change and provides information about current market prices. All the services offered on the platform are available in French and two local languages.

"I’d like for my work to help women and small companies access innovative digital solutions and, consequently, become stronger and more competitive."
Absatou Nazir, innovation and digitisation assistant in agriculture 
Absatou Nazir

Absatou Nazir has been interested in information technology and programming ever since she was a little girl. Today, the 27-year-old woman has a master’s degree in software engineering and works as an innovation and digitisation assistant. Together with several other women, she is responsible for developing and introducing the platform.


This project is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented by Swisscontact.

Cambodia: How an app is moving regenerative agriculture forward 

MetKasekor is an extension model to improve Cambodia’s agricultural system – for example to sustainably improve soil quality – and opening up the market for private sector investment in agriculture. In the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture project, Swisscontact is supporting the development and testing of the model together with various partners in the government, private sector, and research institutes.

An important tool for testing the model is an app that allows for gathering all the data in so-called farmer profiles (name, location of land plot, farming crops, farming practices, machinery used, etc.) that are then presented on a platform. Both the platform and app provide information on the various agricultural businesses going through the various steps of MetKasekor. The mobile app helps these businesses to transition from conventional agricultural techniques toward regenerative agriculture.

At the same time, government advisory offices can follow the progress achieved by farmers and service providers in adopting new agricultural practices. In this way, the Cambodian government will compile an extensive and comprehensive database, which it can use to advise and further support farmers in the future. The data is only used with the consent of the participants involved. 

"The platform and the app will be extremely beneficial to the governmental bodies and the agricultural cooperatives. This will help them to assess the achievements made in terms of sustainable agriculture. These tools are essential to quantify progress, for example in the number of farmers involved or the extent of arable land affected. If we continue supporting agricultural cooperatives, farmers, and the private sector, this will be highly significant. "
Dr Forent Tivet, CIRAD Center for Excellence Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition    
Direction and coordination of the programme
  • Department of Extension for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DEAFF)
  • General Directorate of Agriculture   
    – Department of Agricultural Land Resources Management (DALRM)  
    – Department of Agricultural Engineering (DAEng)
  • Royal University of Agriculture
Implementation partners
  • Provincial Departments of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PDAFF)
Partners in the MetKasekor pilot project
  • Swisscontact
  • CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement / French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development) Center for Excellence in Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (CE SAIN)
  • Kansas State University

The “Innovations for sustainable agriculture” project is financed by the Happel Foundation, Symphasis, the Leopold Bachmann Foundation,  and other donors. It is part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, which is co-financed by the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) within the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).        

Labour market insertion, Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Local entrepreneurship promotion programme 
The programme objective is to create jobs and income opportunities for women and youth in rural Niger through the promotion of entrepreneurship and facilitating access to markets. In particular, the empowerment of women is to be promoted. This opens up new opportunities for economic and social development of these two border regions that depend significantly on agriculture and industry.
Sustainable agriculture
Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture 
The project promotes appropriate technologies and extension services for a sustainable intensification of agricultural production leading to reduced negative impacts on the environment including an improved soil health that allows smallholder farmers to increase their productivity and income.