The Icon Farm Technology (TIFAT)

The Icon Farm Technology (TIFAT) is an SMS platform that connects farmers to buyers, find market in real time, overcome post harvest losses.

Photo of Francis Nsanga
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Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

The Icon Group

Year founded

2016

Initiative stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $10k - $50k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • Uganda

Headquarters location: City

Kamuli

Location(s) of impact

Uganda, Kamuli

Website

http://www.theicongroup.org

Facebook URL

https://www.facebook.com/theiconfarmtech/

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

TIFAT is creating low cost access to market for small scale farmers and enabling uninterrupted supply for buyers of agricultural produce. The platform solves more than one challenge notable creating market and addressing storage challenges at community level. Also, because of lack of market, fruit and vegetable farmers loose their produce as they rot away! TIFAT further solves this challenge as market can even be sought even prior to harvesting!!

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Many end mile farmers harvest the same things at the same time. Many of them, specifically those producing fruits and short-time-shelf-life foods, loose them as they rot before they can eat or sell them. The solution is to create market with value for the produce as opposed to middle men who find peak times in agricultural produce as an opportunity to exploit the farmers. Secondly, uplifting agricultural produce from farmers solves the huge challenge of lack of storage facilities at community level and at the same time provides an opportunity for food processors to add value and shelf life time to the agricultural produce. This in addition addresses the problem of food contamination especially with the deadly afratoxins. The SMS platform also has the potential to disseminate information on agricultural inputs, methods, supplies, farming seasons, among others o top of providing the market for the produce.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

The Icon Farm Technology has potential to impact farmers greatly. The technology has not been launched yet however, the prototype has been tested with 66 farmers and 20 buyers and was found very beneficial.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

TIFAT will charge a small subscription of $10 for farmers and $15 for buyers per year. Each message sent on the platform will cost 15 cents; 8 cents goes to the initiative & 7 cents per SMS goes to the mobile service providers. This way the initiative requires 100 buyers, 1000 farmers and 45000 Short messages in a year to breakeven. If this happens earlier, break-even point can be reached at that time 45000 SMS are reached. It is self sustainable

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

TIFAT does not require internet or a smart phone. Also solves market & storage challenges at ago!

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

While we were searching for market for our own produce, we met more middlemen than buyers. On finding the real buyer, the price difference was exorbitant

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Evaluation results

2 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 50%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 50%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 0%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 0%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 50%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 100%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 50%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 50%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 50%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 0%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 50%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 0%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 0%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 100%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Dorine

Hi Francis,

I think your idea is good and has great potential to develop. I just had a couple of questions. For example:
1. What are afratoxins?
2. What is the environmental impact of using your service?
5. How did the farmers perceive your product? What was their feedback? I would love to know their feedback on your innovative solution!

Overall, I think your innovation has a lot of potential and I think it will have a huge social impact on the lives of smallholder farmers.

Keep up the good work!