Henson Geodata Technologies Ltd (HGT), a wholly-Ghanaian-owned technology company, is taking the agriculture industry in Africa into the age of digitisation, data collection and information management.
This, it wants to achieve with the launch of a mobile app targeted at helping local farmers to improve on their farm records and pest management.
Known as MyAgro360, the integrated pilot of the app was launched in Accra last Friday.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of HGT, Dr Kofi Henaku, said the platform had become necessary due to the inadequate data in the agricultural sector.
The sector he said, “remains one of the biggest challenges faced by farmers and the sector in general in areas such as policy making, agricultural lending, sales and marketing of inputs and produce”.
MyAgro360 is a mobile and web Agritech tool that comprises geographical information system (GIS) and provides a holistic solution to the mapping of a farm (map layered on the company’s own map of Africa called Silapha) which enables farmers to determine the size of plot under cultivation.
It assists in farm management and record-keeping, which enables farmers to keep records of their farm activities and use that information in making the decision that will enhance their productivity and profitability, and pest and disease control to battle farm losses and enhance profitability.
The app facilitates inputs distribution, knowledge transfer and access to information to promote capacity building.
It also helps in access to markets by connecting farmers to buyers as well as market information, delivery of extension services and generating good activity and financial reports that could help in loan acquisition.
The target users of this solution are farmers (primary participants), farmer-based organisations, experts (entomologists, pathologists, agronomists), consultants, researchers, agricultural extension agents (AEAs), plant protection agents, financial institutions, supply chain actors and other value chain actors.
According to Dr Henaku, the piloting phase of MyAgro360 encompasses wholesome services for farmers, experts, exporters, buyers, agric extension agents (AEAs), regional officers, district officers, input dealers etc. to increase farmers’ productivity, improve the capacity of smallholder farmers, strengthening the value chain of the respective commodity sector and deliver safe produce for consumption purposes.
He explained that the mobile app will help farmers establish a comprehensive agricultural database by keeping track of all farming activities and also empower farmers to utilise improved technologies to manage pest and diseases to increase productivity.
Dr Henaku said MyAgro360 will facilitate the establishment of a central community where all stakeholders in the agriculture value-chain can exchange information and also connect farmers to buyers as well as input suppliers.
“The app will serve as trade online app for farmers to upload foodstuffs for customers to purchase them”, he added.
Dr Henaku referred to the perennial challenge of post-harvest losses and explained that the creation of a community for stakeholder in the value-chain in the industry would enlighten them to facilitate trading.
He said data generated could also facilitate the processing of loan applications from the banks since their authenticity would not be in dispute.
Giving practical demonstration to participants in the launch, the Software Developer of HGT, Anthony Tetteh said MyAgro360 had a mobile component and web interface, thereby, making it portable to transmit data on the farm on the mobile phones onto the web on laptops computers at homes or offices.
Mr Tetteh explained that the web interface serves as the interactive channel between the administrator and the client or the farmer.
HGT has researched and developed a number of location-based technologies such as a base map of Africa, spatial data infrastructure for Africa, an ERP Solution to drive business efficiencies, a mobile banking solution and an insurance claim notification service.
The Ghanaian-registered GIS technology company was awarded the second runner-up prize out of 20 finalists at the grand finale of the Feed the Future Fall Armyworm TechPrize held in Cape Town, South Africa on November 14, 2018.