The Indigo Trust has awarded a grant of £15,000 to FarmNet, an ICT4Ag start-up in Rwanda. Smallholder farmers are at the heart of the Rwandan government’s strategy to achieve a ‘Green Revolution’ to feed the quickly expanding capital, Kigali. However, a fragmented supply chain has translated the increase in production into an ever-increasing surplus. The benefits of the Green Revolution are yet to reach Rwanda’s smallholders.
FarmNet hopes to change that. FarmNet is a mobile platform which connects growers with large institutional buyers willing to pay a premium for high quality produce. A farmer database allows trading partners to manage their own database of cooperatives and farmers, while a communications platform allows traders to make deals with their suppliers directly via SMS.
As with many other Indigo ICT4Ag grantees, the key to the success of FarmNet is its simplicity. By providing farmers and buyers with an easy-to-use tool, the app is set to help solve a growing agricultural problem in Rwanda. The team behind FarmNet estimates that the app could increase average household income by $96 for each tonne of crop traded. With the right partnerships in place, they expect to reach 100,000 farmers within 5 years and deliver a net impact of $15 million!