Cambridge AgTech company announces partnership to develop next stages of the AGRIinsight plat
Allia Serious Impact alumni AGRIinsight Ltd announces a major partnership with Advantech Ltd and the Agricultural Council of Tanzania to accelerate the development of its innovative platform.
The platform will be a life changing resource for smallholder farmers across Sub Saharan Africa where it will be rolled out, enabling them to save significantly on input costs and increase their selling prices.
AGRIinsight are based at the Allia Future Business Centre in Cambridge where they also graduated from the Allia Serious Impact programme which supports impact entrepreneurs.
In collaboration with Nairobi-based Advantech Ltd, and the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT), AGRIinsight is rolling out the next stages of its platform. The initial field application, called Ubia Soko is a plug-in application supporting data aggregation with a combined mobile phone/internet-based service position.
Ubia Soko will provide smallholder farmers with better bargaining power, lead to lower input costs, higher product prices, and improving access to training and financial services. Based on a strong understanding of barriers for smallholder farmers, AGRIinsight provides practical and versatile technology applications that can be used on both 2G and 3G phones.
Frederic Kilcher CIO of AGRIinsight says, “smallholder farmers’ demand for inputs is typically fragmented and geographically widespread. This applies to the supply of farmers’ produce to markets. As a result, farmers face high input prices and low output prices, leading to low competitiveness and viability. The scale of data involved in ordering inputs, trading and payments and selling outputs from the smallholder farmer sector is very significant. Aggregation of these volumes for smallholders is a viable and practical solution that AGRIinsight is proud to be providing.”
The beta version showed that farmers can save 20-30% on input costs and increase their selling prices by 10-20%, making a huge difference for small farmers who have no access to data.
AGRIinsight are collaborating with the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT) in this phase of work which will focus on smallholder rice farmers in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Mark Magila, Director of ACT says: “ACT has developed close business relationships with these farmers since 2008 through the Tanzania Agricultural Partneship (TAP) Programme. We saw strong uptake of the beta version of the application when we deployed amongst some 10,000 farmers in Kilombero District. By joining forces with AGRIinsight and Advantech we strongly believe we can provide farmers with consistent, viable and attractive services.”
Joseph Warungi, CEO of Advantech comments: “We are very excited to be working with our colleagues in UK and Tanzania. The platform will be a real game changer for farmers in purchasing inputs and selling farm products. By plugging in the new mobile app with the AGRIinsight platform we can visualize and analyse the types, quantities and prices of inputs and crops farmers are buying and selling thereby overcoming one of the key challenges by bringing together relevant and reliable data onto one platform.”
The AGRIinsight platform gives users the ability to search for agribusinesses using spatial or non-spatial search tools. It also enables organisations involved in the sector to target their support and resources, therefore maximizing impact, improving logistical and operational efficiency and boosting growth. Improved visibility and consolidation of reliable information will raise awareness of unexploited opportunities in the sector, driving much needed investment into Sub Saharan Africa by reducing both cost and risk.
“The aggregation application is the first of a suite of demand driven tools being developed by AGRIinsight and its partners”, says AGRIinsight’s CEO Patrick Guyver. “We will be rolling out other applications over the next few months that focus on particular farmer and agribusiness needs. We will be expanding first in Tanzania to cover some 1 million farmers (out of a potential 11 million rural households) and then with our partners rollout in Kenya, Rwanda and Mozambique.”
AGRIinsight is a UK-based company developing innovative technologies to be used in emerging markets. AGRIinsight has developed an online platform and mobile applications that provide farmers and agribusinesses with the ability to order and purchase inputs and sell products easily and cost effectively. By combining with relevant maps and search tools, relevant data can be stored, visualised and analysed in context with publically avialable data. This then generates new insights, allows users to connect and collaborate to create sustainable and profitable supply chains. Visit www.agrinsight.com to learn more about AGRIinsight or follow us on @agriinsightnews
ACT is a membership apex organization representing a wide spectrum of private sector actors in the Tanzanian agricultural sector. Members include groups and associations of farmers, suppliers, processors, transporters, researchers and other stakeholders dealing in agri-business. ACT strives to support and improve the economical and organizational environment for the agricultural sector in the country leading to improved standard of living and poverty reduction for the majority of Tanzanians. ACT represent more than 178 farmer organizations, associations, companies etc. comprising about 4 million individual farmers and agribusinesses. www.actanzania.or.tz
Nairobi based Advantech started operations in 2003 offering management consulting services to private and public sector organizations. They have an extensive project footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa and provide consulting advice particularly in the agribusiness sector. Advantech integrate their expertise in strategic change, process improvement and technology to provide practical solutions to their clients. www.advantech.co.ke
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