Digital Farm uses the Internet of Things to exchange data across isolated farming communities.
Sam is Communications and Fundraising Manager at Café Direct Producers’ Foundation and currently Accelerator Participant at GoodCompany Ventures in Philadelphia.
"Nominet Trust has funded Digital Farm’s next development phase which could give over 280,000 farmers across East Africa access to this life-changing technology, and the information they need to thrive for the future"
Sam Webb, Project Lead, Digital Farm
Information is power – and the remote smallholders that produce over 70% of the world’s food in places like Uganda and Tanzania have very little of it. They don’t have access to data, such as the size of their harvest, or price of produce, and this can lead to inefficiencies and food loss across the supply chain, with farmers unable to adequately respond to changing climates, price volatility and market fluctuations.
The aim of the project
Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) has been working with smallholder farmers in East Africa to help them develop innovative solutions to the challenges they face. Their work with Digital Farm aims to put knowledge and power into the hands of the farmers. Using the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’, the team equips local farming tools with sensors that relay data over 3G networks to farmers’ mobile phones.
Following prototype testing and focus groups, farmers believe that Digital Farm will be successful in providing the critical data needed to make informed decisions. Farmers welcomed the low-cost and accessible prototype as opposed to high-tech and expensive external systems.
By rolling this out to a range of farming tools, farmers will be able to access data about their farms, enabling them to build resilience to climate change and pests, access farming information to increase yields and quality, analyse productivity and trends, and decrease post-harvest food loss.