Sierra Leone & Trinidad and Tobago Cacao Bean Tracking Solution

Sierra Leone

Partner

COMMODITY

Cacao

duration

9 months

value

€60,000

users

25 (Farmers, processors, importers, supply chain members)

solution

AgUnity App V.3, IoT Devices, MarketPlace

Key Industry Fact

40-50 million people depend on the cocoa industry as their primary source of income.

Commodity
Cocoa
duration
9 months
Project Type/Status
Pilot/Live
value
€60,000
users
25
(Farmers, processors, importers)
solution
T-Tag Traceability Devices
Smartphone & Super App
Key Industry Fact
40 to 50 million people
in the world depend on the cocoa industry as their source of income

Challenges we solve

Smallholder cocoa farmers often sell dry beans without knowledge of the requirements of the processors downstream.

Additionally, downstream processors often do not have sufficient information on the produce they receive and therefore are unable to segment it based on quality and growing practices, instead choosing to aggregate and process it all together and sell at a low price.

Commodity buyers are then reluctant to pay anything more than the bare minimum price for cocoa when they have no information on how the produce was grown and if it was stored and processed correctly. Many of these transactions also occur without the use of receipts and a method to record transaction details which often leads to errors and disputes.

objectives

Develop and deploy a technology solution based on AgUnity’s V.3 app, integrating IOT devices at the process level, incorporating the following features:

project scope

AgUnity started by conducting meetings with country partners to establish process maps, key stakeholders, product users and other supply chain information. Site visits were undertaken to identify any context specific issues.

During development phase AgUnity set up a cloud-platform secured in Blockchain, loaded relevant updates to the AgUnity App and assigned a device to each actor in the supply chain. Training manuals for the products were developed and distributed during this phase.

Where required, assistance was provided to farmers and processors in the process of finding buyers, communicating supply chain and quality assurance improvements, which in turn returned higher prices for the commodity.

AgUnity started by conducting meetings with country partners to establish process maps, key stakeholders, product users and other supply chain information. Site visits were undertaken to identify any context specific issues.

During development phase AgUnity set up a cloud-platform secured in Blockchain, loaded relevant updates to the AgUnity App and assigned a device to each actor in the supply chain. Training manuals for the products were developed and distributed during this phase.

Where required, assistance was provided to farmers and processors in the process of finding buyers, communicating supply chain and quality assurance improvements, which in turn returned higher prices for the commodity.

outcomes

1) Higher Quality Cocoa

Being able to read the internal temperature of fermentation without disturbing the live ferment via AgUnity IoT devices and tracing the product through the supply chain was welcomed with great enthusiasm. The ability to do in-situ temperature monitoring is not only convenient but brings added efficiency by avoiding temperature loss at each monitoring step. Potentially many hours could be shaved off the time-intensive fermentation stages.

2) Access to Market Information

Consistent high-quality, diversified and unique products with sufficient product volume and an efficient custody chain (without product degradation) allow both countries to establish themselves as top-class global suppliers. This is possible with AgUnity workflow optimization and digital record keeping.

3) Greater Access to Markets

Gaining stable access to international markets requires consistency of quality and high volume. Farmers have limited incentives (and many barriers) to cooperate with each other and use collective fermenters for consistent QC handling. With the introduction of the AgUnity platform, farmers feel efficient collaboration is viable, as there is trust in the stored immutable data.

4) Access to Credit and Banking

Access to capital for equipment and incoming produce was met with strong interest from farmers and processors, that expressed interest in making use of industry standards and best practices. Cash handling is a sensitive topic, as in rural communities, the risk of robbery is high. A mechanism to provide a cash-out, by a cash handling-capable provider (i.e. supermarket) raised much excitement. This would very easily be provisioned as a fee-based service that all parties would welcome quickly.

5) Access to Benefits from Mobile technology

Although Sierra Leone and Trinidad & Tobago have good mobile signal coverage in general, only one out of four of the farmers engaged in Sierra Leone had a smartphone before the deployment. Digital literacy of most of the farmers is low, but the app is intuitive for first time users to understand and follow. Local young farmers designated as ‘champions’ helped less savvy users and acted as first level troubleshooters.

“It’s exciting, we were not aware that we’ve gotten technology into cocoa production! We do have some challenges with temperatures that we face in this area: it varies extreme high and low, so being able to monitor different temperature and being able to record it as well something that we can use in the future to refer to.”

MARTIN MATTHEW
COCOA FARMER

“We want all farmers in Sierra Leone to be equipped with such a platform and ability.”

OSMAN KARGBO
HEAD OF QUALITY CONTROL FOR A PROCESSOR
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