About one billion people, or better put, one out of every six persons in sub-saharan Africa, lack access to adequate, affordable food. Hike in prices of food items and drought are forcing the population into hunger and starvation.
Although, smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa number around 43 million, it represents 80% of all farms in the region and contribute up to 90% of food production in some sub-Saharan African Countries. But only through sustainable access to market can poor farmers increase the income from their labor and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
How farmsense works:
FarmSense believes that Africa has the potential to feed the world; this is why farmsense solution is built on a social network approach to ease linking of smallholder farmers to the right market. In doing so, we will be improving access to buyers, fertilizers, hybrid seeds, growers and harvesters.
At farmsene we have an incubation work plan where we teach standards of farming and also introduce farmer to the farmsense extension toolbox
What’s Farmsense extension toolbox, you may ask?
The farmsense extension toolbox is a system that provides staged access of knowledge and information, that farmers need to increase productivity and sustainability of their production systems and improve their quality of life and livelihoods using free SMS services. Which will serves as a human guide from the pre-harvesting stage to the post-harvesting stage.
Scenarios reflecting how we work
Rural farmer X with no smartphone:
- Eromosele is a farmer from Auchi, a rural community in Nigeria. He sends a simple, free SMS to the local farmsense number when he is about to begin planting (Usually at the farmer's planning stage).
- The SMS contains the number of crops he forecasts to harvest, the proposed date of harvest, the proposed cost of his products and the necessary assistance he will need (fertilizers, hybrid seeds, pesticides, labour).
- We retrieve this information and upload it to our platform. We keep Eromosele updated while we find a buyer that wants his product.
- During the process of finding a buyer, we give the farmer 10% of the proposed cost of his product (after verification).
Rural farmer Y with no smartphone:
- James needs hybrid seeds of a particular crop for planting.
- We collect this data through our free SMS services and connect him to the research institute that sells improved seedlings
Smallholder farmers that require financial assistance:
- Sonia sends a simple, free SMS to the local Farmsense number that she needs a particular amount of money to be able to start farming.
- We receive this information and include Sonia in our 2 – 3 months incubation farming where we train youths and new farmers on how to farm smarter and inform them of best practices. During this period, we also carry out verification to ensure farmers that require financial aids are authenticated.
- At the end of the incubation period, we will provide them with funds for their farming project.
- Musa uses our mobile/web platform to request 100 tons of cassava.
- We collect this information and find the farmer or group of farmers that will meet Musa’s needs.
- Adanna is a business lady who has an interest in agriculture but does not have the time or knowledge to venture into any real projects on her own. She signs up to the Farmsense platform as an investor/farm sponsor. This allows her to view potential farms and selects the farm(s) she wants to invest in.
- We use Adanna's investment funds to secure the land, engage the farmer(s), plant the seeds, give the farmer(s) 10% of the proposed cost of products, ensure the farmer(s) and farm produce complete the full farming cycle and cover the logistics to sell the harvest.
- While this farm process is ongoing, the farm sponsors are able to keep track of the full cycle by getting updates in text, pictures, and videos from their dashboard via our website or mobile apps.
What changes our solution are making?
A fast and efficient market for farmers, investors, buyers and farming tools suppliers
A smarter and efficient supply system
A reliable and consistent farm produce chain(food for the season and outside the season)
Faster access to knowledge and information, that farmers need to increase productivity and sustainability of farmers production system