All about access: Content & technology strategies for smallholders

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Presentation by Philip Abrahams, Strategic Business Development Director, CABI
Plenary Session: Why the Hype for mAgriculture?
on 5 Nov 2013,
ICT4ag, Kigali, Rwanda

Published in: Technology, Business
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All about access: Content & technology strategies for smallholders

  1. 1. All about access: Content & technology strategies for smallholders Philip Abrahams, Strategic Business Development Director, CABI
  2. 2. Classic farmer challenges Is the mAgri hype dealing yet with fundamentals? Productivity - Crop loss (climatic, biotic etc) - Access to (& affordability of) inputs - Diminished landholding Prosperity - Access to fair markets - Lack of knowledge & skills, plus literacy barriers - Thinning extension support Quality of life - Poverty trap - Malnutrition & healthcare - Gender inequalities
  3. 3. Why mAgri? An operator’s perspective Access to new markets: 130m new subscribers per annum in Developing Countries, increasingly rural – – – – Business growth (money) Customer retention (money) Repeat usage (money) Add-on services (money) It’s Business, not Emotion Agriculture must compete in MNOs heads against other equally seductive feature-specific services
  4. 4. Why mAgri? A farmer’s perspective Access to supportive content which is: – – – – – – – – – – Immediate (crisis handling) Just in time (task- and time-based) Relevant (localised) Demand-driven (personalised) Holistic (comprehensive) Accessible(actionable, voice) Interactive (feedback, call centres) Objective (trust) ‘Business’-based (access to inputs, credit etc) Market-focussed (money) Farmers will only pay for a service that they value
  5. 5. Issues Questions for us all Do farmers understand what we tell them? – Do they act on the advice given? – Is the advice they get contradictory? Do we really know what they want? – – – – – – local conditions; crops grown and constraining factors pest presence/diagnostics; proximity alerts farm size; soil health; irrigation methods animal husbandry; nutrition/health advice seed selection; input availability; financial services something else?? Who provides quality assurance? – Are there farmer feedback mechanisms? Who manages data collection & analysis?
  6. 6. Generally, what is missing? Content which is present at some level – – – – – – – – – Weather Market prices, locations GAP advice Crop health, pests and disease (limited crops only) Animal husbandry Alerts Calendar-based advice mFinance Sellers’ market approach
  7. 7. Generally, what is missing? Content which is often absent or rare – – – – – – – – – Production standards (private) Multiple crops Phytosanitary standards Soil husbandry Hyper-localised/geo-specific Community-based learning Access to labour saving tech Access to input suppliers Buyers’ market approach: farmer-power
  8. 8. Generally, what is missing? Farmers need more than prices, weather… Info syndication Credit & Insurance Favorable Policy Input Availability Farmers Policy Makers Pest Management New Technology Research & Academia Market Link Input Business D2F Infomediary Rural Service Providers Food Processors AgriMarkets Info delivery
  9. 9. Giving access requires content… …and content needs holistic partnerships Agriculture Research Extension Knowledge Package of Practices Crop/Animal Factsheets New Research Info • e.g. CAB Abstracts • Compendia • Other public domain repositories • University Literature • Crop Directorates Extension • Extension Knowledge Publications • Crop Specific • Based on critical information needs Factsheets • CABI Expertise • Farmer feedback
  10. 10. Who is doing what? – – – – – – Farmer profiling & info share FBO comms Predicting input use Linking dealers Cost of production Data collection (market prices etc) www.imagead.net
  11. 11. Who is doing what? CABI Direct2Farm: Café Móvel Targeting coffee planters, processors, roasters and exporters – – – – – – Features include: Interactive Message Wall on IVR Private discussion thread between planter and expert Voice-Cast of private discussion thread to community Market & Agrimet voice feeds Mobinar between planters and experts
  12. 12. Thank you For further information: www.cabi.org Phil Abrahams T: 0044 1491 829374 p.abrahams@cabi.org

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