One of the core areas of our operations, and why we exist is innovation. We innovate around social and business needs. This programme has seen some of our inhouse solutions grow to attract funding from both local and international stakeholders and partners.
Among our innovations already taking root are;
Digital Agro Value Chain
Digital Agro Value Chain; (Agro-VCM) is a project we are working on, with funding from the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance under it’s National ICT Innovations Support Programme (NIISP), coordinated by the Resilient Africa Network to develop a mobile-based application that bridges the gap between a farmer and other agro-sector players that are crucial to his or her production, i.e Agro-Input Suppliers, Agricultural Financial Services, Extension Services, Storage/Collection Centers for fresh farm produce, and the final Agricultural Consumers. This tool is also meant to provide accurate market information to the farmer in order to avoid exploitation by the sector middle-men, thereby supporting the grown of the agricultural sector upon which over 70% of the Ugandan population relies for employment, and for the overall benefit of the national economy which is majorly agrarian.
With the ability to keep a record of transactions between the different agro-players when business is transacted, the application also provides a mechanism for record-keeping on financial management and performance of a farmer, a record that is usable for verification of business viability in case of need for credit facility access from financial institutions and private agricultural financiers.
The ability of the application to facilitate management and participation in agriculture by proxy is an incentive to especially the youth and women to join and fairly take part at any level of the agricultural value-chain, enabling them to successfully control their segment of operations, production, or market, thereby taking away the bottlenecks associated with the traditional systems of agricultural operations that often disadvantage and affect the ability of especially these categories of sector players to fairly engage in the agricultural sector and marketplace.
Project partners include:
Unlike other parts of the world where monoculture is practiced, Sub-saharan presents a different scenario whereby the majority of farming is practiced as mixed-farming, and hence, the majority of the off-the-shelf software tools available for agricultural management do not suite sub-Saharan farmer needs.
Drawing from that need, Farm-lite Software is built to answer to the needs of Sub-saharan Africa Agriculture; covering all the major tenets of the operation of mixed farming, to facilitate holistic farm management, enabling data capture, storage, processing and analysis of all farm processes and activity data for efficient and effective farm management and performance monitoring.
With improved record-keeping comes numerous benefits for the farmer, such as informed decision making, ease of planning, and resource allocation, hence improved overall efficiency and productivity on the farm.
This innovation is aimed at boosting government efforts towards the commercialization of agriculture as a key sector for the Ugandan economy, and indeed, the government of Uganda through the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance on the National ICT Innovations Support Programme (NIISP), has come on board to support this innovation with a grant that has seen us produce a Beta version of the software that is already being tested by over 150 farmers across the country.
We aim to improve this further with the collection of user feedback from the farmers testing software, and we hope to release a stable version of the same by the end of the 3 quarter of 2020.
Project partners include: