Transforming Subsistence Farming in Sub-Saharan Africa with AI

Future Goals

Farmers participate in a hands-on training session to learn about new AI tools and technologies. Solar panels power AI devices in a remote farming community, ensuring continuous operation.

Welcome to a transformative journey where AI meets traditional farming in sub-Saharan Africa. As the AI Strategist for Africa Vertical, I’m thrilled to share how our organization leverages social entrepreneurship to empower women through innovative, sustainable development solutions. Our mission is clear: to enhance food security and create economic independence for African women.

Our Current Farming Practices

At Africa Vertical, we are deeply engaged in subsistence farming in sub-Saharan Africa with plans to expand our presence by utilizing high-impact technology designed around the unique needs of our environment. Our projects are tailored to support women farmers by providing them with the necessary tools, resources, and training to improve their agricultural practices. We focus on crop farming and chicken-egg production, essential for food security and economic empowerment. By working directly with the local communities, we ensure that our efforts align with their needs and cultural practices.

Planning for AI Integration

We are currently in the planning stages of integrating AI solutions into our farming practices. The potential benefits of AI are vast, from optimizing water usage with smart irrigation systems to enhancing crop management through predictive analytics. By sourcing advanced technologies, we aim to transform our farming operations and boost productivity. The requirements are many, particularly in hardware that is power-efficient and algorithms that allow for streaming and batch analysis and can resume sending data when power and connectivity are available.

Water Control

Imagine solar-powered smart irrigation systems that optimize water usage based on real-time data from soil moisture levels, weather forecasts, and specific crop needs. These systems can significantly reduce water waste and enhance irrigation efficiency. Our plans include implementing solar-powered smart irrigation systems that optimize water usage based on real-time data. These systems will adjust according to soil moisture levels, weather forecasts, and specific crop needs, ensuring efficient water use and sustainability. Additionally, AI algorithms will monitor water usage, detect leaks, and address inefficiencies, further conserving water resources.

Predictive Analytics for Crop Management

AI will play a crucial role in managing our crops. Accurate, hyper-local weather forecasts will help our farmers make informed decisions about planting, harvesting, and applying water or fertilizers. By analyzing satellite images and field sensor data, AI can predict pest and disease outbreaks, allowing timely interventions to protect our crops. Furthermore, AI models will predict crop yields, aiding in better resource planning and management.

Soil Health Monitoring

Maintaining soil health is vital for sustainable farming. AI-driven portable soil testing kits will provide insights into soil quality, recommending suitable fertilizers or crop rotations. This targeted approach ensures that crops receive the right nutrients at the right times, enhancing yields and reducing waste.

Low-Cost AI Devices and Offline Solutions

Given the limited connectivity in some regions, we plan to source affordable, solar-powered edge computing devices that process data locally. These devices are essential for tasks such as analyzing soil moisture and predicting weather patterns without needing constant internet access. Our offline AI solutions will store data locally and sync when connectivity is available, ensuring continuous monitoring and decision support.

Training and Capacity Building

To ensure the successful adoption of AI technologies, we implement comprehensive training programs for our farmers. These programs focus on user-friendly interfaces and practical, hands-on training. By leveraging local agricultural extension services and community leaders, we facilitate knowledge sharing and ongoing support.

Data Collection and Management

Our deep connection to the community is enabling us to develop platforms for farmers to contribute data on weather, soil conditions, and crop health. This is a major endeavor and requires a bigger presence on the continent. AI aggregates and analyzes this data, providing valuable insights back to the community. The vision is to establish hubs where data from various sources can be collected, processed, and analyzed. Though these hubs face the same connectivity challenges as the farms, the communal aspect allows us to spread the cost and equip them with more reliable power sources and internet connectivity.

Sustainable Energy Solutions

We’ve been utilizing solar power to drive out water pumps and irrigation on our flagship farm for some time, and we will continue to build out the necessary capacity to power the devices that will help build our AI initiative. Thoughtful redesign may allow us to minimize build out to accomplish even more efficient power usage. A major boon will be the incorporation of battery storage systems, allowing unfinished work to be completed before reducing power to run the essentials in the face of unreliable power grids.

Partnerships and Collaborations

We actively seek partnerships with governments, NGOs, tech companies, and local communities to develop and deploy AI solutions tailored to the needs of subsistence farmers facing these unique circumstances around connectivity, cost, and reliable power. Collaborations with local universities and international research institutions would be welcome to help adapt AI technologies to local conditions and challenges.


At Africa Vertical, we believe in the power of AI to transform agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. By harnessing these technologies, we aim to improve crop yields, enhance water efficiency, and build resilient farming communities. Our focus on women’s empowerment through sustainable practices not only strengthens food security but also fosters economic independence. Join us in this journey to bring AI innovation to the heart of Africa’s farming landscape.

Let’s Discuss!

What are your thoughts on the potential of AI in transforming agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa? Do you see any challenges or additional opportunities that we might have missed? Share your ideas and let’s start a conversation!

Visualizing the Future

An AI-powered smart irrigation system optimizes water usage based on real-time data.

Edge computing devices help monitor crop health and predict pest outbreaks.

Get Involved

If you’re passionate about AI and sustainable agriculture, there are many ways to get involved. Whether through research, funding, or fieldwork, your contributions can help us make a difference. Reach out to us to learn more about how you can participate in this groundbreaking initiative.

Stay Connected

Don’t miss out on the latest updates in AI and agriculture. Subscribe to our newsletter for regular insights and stories from the field. Together, we can foster innovation and drive positive change. Follow Africa Vertical’s AI Strategy and implementation here.

Thank you for joining us on this journey towards a sustainable and prosperous future for subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Let’s work together to harness the power of AI and create a better tomorrow!

Zimbabwe Food Crisis: Reclaiming Agricultural Independence and Fighting Hunger

In the face of Zimbabwe’s food crisis, many people point to the current drought as the primary culprit. However, upon closer examination, it is clear that there is a more nuanced reality. Traditionally, Zimbabwean farmers relied on age-old practices, cultivating crops with seeds that cost almost nothing. This model sustained communities for generations, fostering self-sufficiency and ensuring that everyone had access to healthy food.  

Now, the landscape has changed with the introduction of hybrid seeds promoted by big corporations. Originally promoted as a solution to modernize agriculture, these hybrid seeds come with hidden costs. Unlike their traditional counterpart, these genetically modified seeds do not reproduce. Instead, farmers find themselves in a cycle of dependency, needing to purchase new seeds each season. This reliance on external inputs extends beyond purchasing seeds; the cultivation of hybrid crops demands hefty investments in fertilizers and pesticides. These chemicals not only cost extra but also reduce the quality of the crops. 

What began as an effort to improve yields has morphed into a form of food colonization. Zimbabwean farmers, once stewards of their own agricultural destiny, now find themselves beholden to profit-driven entities. The shift from traditional to hybrid seeds has eroded the very foundation of food sovereignty, relegating Zimbabwe to a state of dependency on external forces.

What began as an effort to improve yields has now morphed into a form of food colonization. Zimbabwean farmers, once stewards of their own agricultural destiny, are now finding themselves subjugated to profit-driven entities. This isn’t just an agricultural issue—it’s a matter of African independence. Reclaiming control over food production is paramount, not only for economic stability but also for asserting sovereignty over Zimbabwe’s agricultural future. 

Yet, amidst the challenges, there is cause for optimism. Organizations like ours are working for the revitalization of traditional farming methods and the promotion of agroecology. By embracing indigenous knowledge and fostering community-led initiatives, Zimbabwe is fighting for true food sovereignty. This is not merely a battle against hunger; it is a fight for the autonomy and dignity of Zimbabwe’s people.

Help Us Support Women and Children Experiencing a Drought: A Call to Action from the Zimbabwe Farm Project

Currently, in Zimbabwe, chickens and crops vital to their communities are dying due to the unforgiving drought gripping the country. Farmers are being put out of work and many of their families are going hungry. As we face the pressing challenge of water scarcity, we must come together to ensure the resilience of our community and the livelihoods of our women farmers. As an organization dedicated to empowering women and promoting sustainability in unserved communities, we work with farmers to create sustainable food systems and support economic independence for African women, providing a holistic approach to job creation and education. We are committed to supporting our farming community through this drought. Here are a few things we are doing to help:

We are shifting our focus from crop production to egg production. With water becoming increasingly scarce, we must adapt our farming practices to thrive in these challenging conditions. By shifting our focus from traditional crop cultivation to egg production, we not only ensure a vital source of income for our women farmers but also reduce the strain on our water resources.

We are planting trees to invest in a sustainable future. Combatting desertification is paramount to preserving our land for future generations. Through the planting of low-water-tolerant trees, we not only mitigate the effects of drought but also empower our women to take an active role in environmental conservation.

We are monitoring water levels and planning ahead. Our commitment to sustainability extends to proactive measures to safeguard our water supply, which currently holds 1,500 liters of water. With ongoing assessments of our wells’ water tables and strategic investments in additional water storage capacity, we’re taking tangible steps to ensure our community’s resilience in the face of adversity. 

While we promise to take every step necessary to ensure that none of our program’s participants go hungry, we cannot do it without your help. By donating to the Zimbabwe Farm Project, you’re not just investing in a single initiative; you’re investing in the future of our community and the sustainability of our planet. Together, we can turn the tide against drought, empower our women farmers, and build a future where prosperity and sustainability go hand in hand. Join us in making a difference today.


Celebrating Success: Zimbabwe Farm Project Achieved a Remarkable 98% Rating on Charity Navigator

Celebrating Success: Zimbabwe Farm Project Achieved a Remarkable 98% Rating on Charity Navigator

Dedicated to empowering rural communities through sustainable agriculture practices, education, and community development, the Zimbabwe Farm Project has always been steadfast in our mission to alleviate poverty, foster economic growth, and promote self-sufficiency. 

As a result of this commitment, the Zimbabwe Farm Project has emerged as a beacon of excellence, recently attaining a 98% rating on Charity Navigator. This achievement is a testament to the organization’s unwavering dedication and the immense impact of our endeavors in the community. Behind this exceptional rating is a team of dedicated individuals who have poured their hearts and souls into the organization’s missions. From the farmers tending their fields to the staff meticulously navigating finances, everyone has played a crucial role in this story of success. 

Vimbai Majoni (learn more here

Charity Navigator recognized the Zimbabwe Farm Project specifically for being highly cost-effective, working hard to receive constituent feedback, and having respectable equity practices. Receiving this rating is no small feat; it is a reflection of our commitment to transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility. Such high ratings do not come by easily, as they are the result of meticulous planning, strategic management, and above all, hard work. This award has the potential to have a profound impact on the organization’s ability to effectively fulfill our mission. A high rating on Charity Navigator not only instills confidence in donors but opens doors for new funding and collaborations. It validates the organization’s credibility, ensuring that every dollar contributed goes towards making a tangible difference in the lives of others. Moreover, in a landscape where trust and accountability are paramount, a 98% rating distinguishes the Zimbabwe Farm Project as an organization exhibiting integrity and excellence in the nonprofit sector. It reaffirms our unwavering commitment to transparency and ethical stewardship of resources.


African Poultry Project for women (learn more here

As we celebrate this milestone, it is essential to recognize that the journey doesn’t end here. The Zimbabwe Farm Project remains steadfast in its commitment to community service and transparency, continuing to strive for excellence in all aspects of our operations. We are in the process of changing our name Africa Vertical, Inc. to reflect the universal aspects of our mission and the ability to scale and replicate women’s empowerment model across the Continent.  As we look towards the future, let us continue to celebrate the incredible work of this organization and others who strive to make a difference in the world. 


There’s More! The Zimbabwe Farm Project Also Achieved a Platinum Rating on GuideStar

There’s More! The Zimbabwe Farm Project Also Achieved a Platinum Rating on GuideStar

In addition to the 98% rating on Charity Navigator, we are thrilled to be able to say that the Zimbabwe Farm Project was rated Platinum by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. This prestigious recognition reflects our commitment to accountability, transparency, and impact in all aspects of our organization. In naming the Zimbabwe Farm Project as Platinum, GuideStar has recognized us for having some of the best practices in governance, financial stewardship, and program effectiveness. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, volunteers, partners, and donors who together, have made a significant impact in promoting sustainable agriculture and improving livelihoods. 

We invite you to explore our GuideStar profile to learn more about our missions, programs, financials, and impact here. If this report seems long and confusing, we’ve summarized its contents below for your convenience. 

  • Mission:

Our goal is to empower women and promote sustainability in unserved communities. We work with farmers to create sustainable food systems and support economic independence for African women, providing a holistic approach to job creation and education. In order to reflect the universal aspects of our mission, we are in the process of rebranding to Africa Vertical, Inc.

Inno Joseph 

  • What we do:

We mitigate food insecurity with organically grown produce, solar power, sanitation and hygiene, clean water, and women helping women. By creating jobs for people in rural agricultural areas, we promote sustainable solutions to address food insecurity, leveraging their traditional skills and knowledge. When provided with the skills and technology to grow food, people can pass this knowledge on to others or utilize it to start small businesses. 

Source: Toodling Studio 

  • Goals:

Expanding poultry farming to commercial-scale egg production would increase our ability to offer farming opportunities to women in underserved communities. By creating more jobs in this industry, we are working to fight poverty in countries where only an estimated 80% of people are unemployed due to the pandemic. We strive to avoid donor dependency and improve the quality of life in underserved communities by providing opportunities for them to acquire skills that they can utilize to empower entrepreneurship and economic success. 

Tony Etyang 

  • Results:

In the last _ years, we have:

  • Installed solar power systems for farming irrigation, lightning, and poultry farming 
  • Planted 100 macadamia tree seedlings to increase nut production.
  • Facilitated the annual harvest of organically grown maize, potatoes, sugar beans, sunflowers, cabbage, carrots, avocados, tomatoes, macadamia, and other vegetables.
  • Installed a water delivery system that provides access to clean water.
  • Employed hundreds of women in the community to work on the farm in a specialized capacity with poultry, macadamia, and organic vegetables.

And, in the near future, we will be:

  • Expanding our solar power to ensure that it has the capacity to power an increase in egg production 
  • Fundraising for a hydroponic greenhouse, which will serve as a sustainable method of growing plants in a controlled environment

Source: Gary Skirrow 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our supporters, partners, and the entire Zimbabwe Farm Report, whose unwavering dedication made this achievement possible. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our journey toward creating sustainable agriculture solutions and fostering prosperity in Africa. 

Africa Vertical, Inc.

Africa Vertical is a 501(c) 3 non-profit charitable organization . We empower women using social entrepreneurship and employment initiatives. We implement innovative, sustainable permaculture solutions and organic farming for for food security powered by technology and renewable energy.

US Location

700 12th St., N.W.
Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005

Africa Location

# 135 Mazowe
Harare, Zimbabwe

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