May 19, 2020

Ghana start-up could revolutionise country's agriculture sector

Ghana
agriculture
Mobile
start-up
mahlokoane percy ngwato
2 min
Ghana start-up could revolutionise country's agriculture sector

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mPedigree, a Ghanaian start-up that uses mobile phones to protect pharmaceutical products against counterfeiting, has entered into a partnership with the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to provide a traceability and e-verification service for agricultural inputs and commodities.

The solution centres on a cloud-based system that creates unique codes which are hidden on medicines under an opaque layer and can only be revealed when the product is purchased.

This will be done in co-operation with Feed the Future, a USAID-led initiative that seeks to combat poverty, hunger and food insecurity as well as contribute to economic growth through agricultural production, improving agricultural practices and general nutrition.

The initiative brings together E-Tags quality certification and auditing service used in UNBS and mPedigree’s Goldkeys serialisation and authentication engine to create a channel for verifying the source and supply chain status of agro-inputs as well as their conformance with acceptable quality standards to check compliance with Ugandan laws.

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Phase one is set for completion next year, paving the way for further nationwide phases that will extend to a broader set of private sector agro-input manufacturers, providers and distributors. Estimates suggest that fake seeds constitute between 30 and 40 percent of total local supply.

A statement from mPedigree said: “Fake seeds give poor yields or sometimes do not germinate at all, putting not just the livelihoods of farmers, but their very lives at risk, when financial ruin turns to suicide or self-harm.

“Fake agrochemicals often contain dangerous compounds that contaminate ground water, and poison consumers. A perverse twist to this development is the misrepresentation of banned chemicals as organic farm chemicals, thus turning the ecological goals on their head.”

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The company also stated that the service aims over its lifecycle to empower five million farmers and generate more than $1 billion in aggregate value per year. It is first world technological interventions such as this that are providing small but incredibly effective solutions to real world problems.

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SOURCE: [PC tech mag]

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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