Towards Large-Scale Digital Decision Support Systems for Farmers


Towards Large-Scale Digital Decision Support Systems for Farmers pursues food security by digitizing and translating big data in agriculture for rural farmers in Africa. 

Investing in Impact

P4G provided this partnership with US $100,000 in catalytic grant funding.   

Focused in Malawi, the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, Michigan State University and Viamo worked to standardize and automate the integration and output of data relevant for on-farm decision making; utilize Viamo’s popular 3-2-1 crop advisory service to improve its timeliness and site-specificity at a national scale in Malawi; develop feedback loops between 3-2-1 and backend analytics; and cultivate partnerships for scale-up to 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The partnership tested the relationship between targeted agronomy messages through interactive voice response (IVR)—an automated phone system that interacts with callers and gathers information through choices—and better decision making on maize farms, with the ultimate aim of increasing yields and improving food security. The groundbreaking study demonstrated that IVR messaging was effective at influencing farmers to plant early, use urea fertilizer more appropriately and adopt better weeding practices.  

With P4G’s help, the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture has pushed the needle forward on developing tailored, timely agricultural services for low-income farmers at the scale needed for commercial profitability. Read more here


P4G Theme

Food and Agriculture Value Chain




Partnership Type



Partnership Community of Learning

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