Digitally Transforming And Creating A Traceable Rice Value Chain
2SCALE incubates and accelerates inclusive businesses through partnerships with companies (African/Dutch small- and medium-sized enterprises – SMEs) and producer organizations (POs) that want to build commercially viable strategies in African food industries through sustainable sourcing, based on mutually beneficial relations with smallholder farmers and other local micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); and/ or by serving local and regional Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) markets with nutritious food products.
2SCALE currently supports three business champions in Côte d’Ivoire (Also known as Ivory Coast), including a syndicate of 5 rice millers. These millers mainly work with networks of smallholder farmers who have limited access to quality farm inputs and services resulting in low farm productivity. There was a need for a digital solution to properly organize farmer data which makes planning, extension delivery, training, and other advisory services easy to implement. The millers also had challenges managing quality (especially aflatoxin) which is exacerbated by the lack of a traceability solution. 2SCALE sought to address these hurdles in its rice production, procurement and reporting processes to strengthen management and facilitate digitization of their farmer databases.
The general objective is to help the rice millers to digitize farmer profiles and field operations to improve farmer management, efficient procurement, and staff accountability.
Specific objectives include:
To support field operations and manage the relationship with their producers, two millers in Cote d’Ivoire (Locagri & Katio Akpa) participated in a pilot project with CropIn for a period of 12 months. The project implemented CropIn’s end-to-end digital platform – SmartFarm mobile application for digitally profiling 500 farmers, facilitating field staff activities, supporting farmer advisory and managing the procurement of produce. Specific operations the application was implemented was for are –
SmartFarm® is an end-to-end farm data management solution that monitors all processes leading up to harvest. The solution leverages ground-truth data, weather advisory, and accurate insights based on satellite monitoring to enable data-driven farm and business operations. By tracking, managing and monitoring every step — from input to execution — all in one place, SmartFarm® helps achieve efficiency and improves traceability and output predictability.
Some of the other notable features that aided the digitisation activities include:
In the first 6 months of the pilot, key information on 452 smallholder farmers was captured into the CropIn’s platform and periodic farm audits are performed on the rice crop using the SmartFarm mobile application. Data from the platform enabled Locagri and Katio Akpa to visualize where their farmer plots are based, to tag areas under crop and get predictions of the rice harvest.