Francis Nsanga was among the top 25 innovators in the East Africa Postharvest Technology Competition 2017.
Technology : The Icon Farm Technology (TIFAT)
TIFAT is a simple but robust GSM supported agricultural supply chain management software and mobile marketplace that directly connects farmers to buyers at a low cost via SMS technology. TIFAT is an innovation of The Icon Entrepreneurship Platform. When a farmer sends a text message (SMS) with information about his/her produce to our short code number, our system generates a unique identification number for them. We receive offers from buyers and filter out the buyer offering the highest price for a particular produce. We then connect these buyers directly to the farmers and the transaction takes place.
Impact : TIFAT reduces the cost of marketing farm produce, enhances farmers’ bargaining power to get the best prices for their produce and broadens their market while eliminating the dependence on exploitative middlemen. Our innovation allows farmers to determine and sell their produce at competitive prices even prior to harvesting. Buyers on the other hand are fairly assured of supply of what they need given the various agricultural producers on the platform. Our platform will also be able to offer forecasted market information to both farmers and buyers for informed decision making and planning.
Majority of tech solutions currently available are applications supported on smart phones, which technically exclude most small scale farmers who do not have or use the expensive USSD technology. We have identified that gap in this market place and designed a solution that is supported on basic GSM mobile phones that majority of our small scale farmers possess. Furthermore, the cost of subscription to our platform and SMS are both affordable by the smallest of the small scale farmers.