Our new blog series: Why do we do what we do?

Posted by Jacqui on February 18, 2018

Have we ever told you why we do what we do?

It’s been more than 2 months since we’ve started at the Allia Serious Impact incubator, and we’ve had an overall exciting, rewarding experience. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing with our followers what we’ve been up to so far! But before I do that, let me share with you the reasons why we’re set on doing what we’re doing.

“To improve market access and decision-making in the supply chain for smallholder farmers and buyers.”

That’s our mission.

Brought together by our passion to reduce poverty and hunger, my co-founders David, Paul, and I are developing an integrated digital platform that provides all of the marketplace tools in one place.

Unlike countries like the UK, where about 1% of the population work in farming, over 60% of the population in sub-Saharan African countries work in agriculture. Many are smallholder farmers, who produce about 80% of the domestic food supply. Agriculture is also a primary source of household income for smallholders - for example, in Tanzania, about 56% of a smallholder family’s income comes from farming. That’s an incredibly large percentage of their annual household income, which can average less than US$ 1,005 or between US$ 1,006 and US$ 3,995 for low-income and lower-middle countries, respectively.

Given the majority of the population in low- and lower-middle income countries in smallholder agriculture, we believe there’s a huge opportunity in agriculture to generate a big social good impact.

As Bill Gates said:

“Helping the poorest smallholder farmers grow more crops and get them to market is the world’s single most powerful lever for reducing hunger and poverty.”

-Bill Gates, World Food Prize speech, 15 October 2009.

Well, why use digital tech now, you might ask?

Countries across the continent of Africa are leapfrogging over old communication technologies. With the proliferation of mobile phones, sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing mobile market in the world!

Because of these growing opportunities, we believe now is the time! For innovative solutions like ours to develop useful technologies that contribute to reducing poverty and hunger.

Need for user-centricity

But simply developing the technology will not solve the issue. We strongly recognise the need for a user-centric approach. Without input and feedback from stakeholders, any technology that’s being developed might not even be effective at the end! Which is why we are actively reaching out and engaging with them.

This blog is part of a series that I hope will demonstrate to you the specific mission of our startup, the developments as we progress, and other findings along our journey. Next, I’ll share with you what we’ve been up to so far, so stay tuned!

If you have any questions or want to connect with us, feel free to contact us through email (info@farmingdata.io) or Twitter (@farming_data)!