Open Letter to Mr. Abdulmajid Nsekela, TCDC, Warehouse Receipt Regulatory Board, Cooperatives, Farmers unions, investment firms, banks, insurance and various agricultural stakeholders
A few years ago, when we started our e-commerce platform
that connects smallholder farmers directly to the market, bypassing middlemen,
we were filled with hope. Over 20,000 users registered as farmers, and we had
more than 1,000 buyers, both local and international. However, our dreams were
shattered when we discovered that more than 90% of those who claimed to be
farmers were actually middlemen. Our buyers were unhappy, and deals fell
through because some of the middlemen were unreliable. The data we collected
was messy and unreliable. It pains me to see other platforms making the same
Did we give up? No. We went to the village to work directlywith smallholder farmers, and now we are back with a stronger, more disruptive digital agriculture and farm ERP platform. In just 10 months, we have managed to map more than real 30,000 farmers in partnership with few farm associations and manufacturers using our new traceability farm management platform.
This open letter is based on our experience, the lessons we have learned, and the technology we have discovered that has the potential to revolutionize the food system through collaboration with cooperatives, agricultural bodies, institutions, insurance companies, agro dealers, and all other stakeholders in the agriculture industry.
Our wake-up call came when we deployed a crop collection and distribution management system to 19 manufacturing companies. As part of our new farm ERP system, the crop collection management system enables manufacturers to track the movement of crops from the farms to collection centers and warehouses. We were able to digitize the entire process, including the payment systems. I told my co-founder, what if we digitize the entire agri chain working in partnership with key players in Agri chain?
Our journey began by working with farm cooperatives and their Agricultural Marketing Cooperative Societies (AMCOS). We realized that a revolution in agriculture is impossible without digitizing the workflow of these groups and transforming them into commercial agricultural enterprises that support their farmers. Some of the key players we work with include:
4. Agro dealers
When we heard about Mr. Abdulmajid Nsekela being appointed as the Chairman of the Tanzania Cooperative Development Commission (TCDC) by the President, we were thrilled. It was as if our prayers had been answered. Together, we can build a giant farm ERP, e-commerce, and traceability platform that is even more advanced than Alibaba.
We can serve farmers and protect their interests by partnering with officials from farmers' unions. We must empower union market officials to become professional marketers who use technology to access domestic and international markets for our farmers' crops, rather than waiting for buyers to come to them and offer low prices to farmers. We cannot continue to allow the profits of our smallholder farmers to be drained by the five levels of middlemen that dominate our unstructured food system. We want to make our farmers and their unions marketable, traceable, insurable, and investable on a global scale.
How is this possible? Mazao Hub's farm ERP and digital agriculture platform was designed specifically for this purpose. Our platform allows us to map everything:
1. farmers and their farms,
2. collection centers and warehouses,
3. agronomists and agro dealers,
4. farm machinery and irrigation systems,
5. manufacturers and their locations,
6. logistics providers and their trucks, and more.
We can manage farmers, farming activities, and complex farm operations, make data-driven decisions, optimize costs, improve yields, and more, all with custom-designed modules or software for each key player all integrated together into Mazao Hub ecosystem. Our platform is built on the latest technology, including artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, to ensure transparency, traceability, and accountability in the entire agricultural value chain. It also provides real-time market information and prices, weather forecast and alerts, farming best practices and management, and personalized extension services to farmers.
But most importantly, our platform empowers farmers and their unions to become owners and managers of their own data and to have a say in the decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. It gives them access to finance, insurance, and other essential services, and it connects them to reliable buyers and markets.
Our goal is to create a new, more structured food system that empowers farmers, protects their interests, and ensures the sustainability of the agriculture industry as a whole.
The time has come for us to come together and collaborate to make a difference in the lives of smallholder farmers in Tanzania and beyond. The Mazao Hub ecosystem infrastructure is accessible to anyone, anywhere, and is available on the Google Playstore as Mazao Hub. We have users in Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo, South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
Why do we need to collaborate?
We are desperate to collaborate with farmer’s unions and officials to help them map their farmers and digitize the entire crop production activities with real time insights. By Mapping these farmers, we will understand the unique challenges each farmer faces, policymakers and organizations can better target the right solutions. This will also allow for better monitoring of progress and performance each farmer using Mazao Hub Farm Management system. And for more effective interventions, such as providing access to finance, support, advice or more improved technology. It also allows for better data collection, which can be used to inform decisions about policies and investments.
Mazao Hub promotes best production practices for over 100 crops, with detailed record-keeping and monitoring of environmental and supply chain variables. By mapping farmers, will allows for the traceability and transparency of farm production, enabling small-scale farmers to be competitive in the global marketplace.
As Mazao Hub ecosystem, we provide modules for each user and partner:
1. AMCOS management system for Cooperatives to have real time insights on performance or progress of each farmer in their related unions or groups. Including crop collection, financial management, inputs or manufacturing in case they venture into manufacturing and much more. Cooperatives will have all data related to mapped farmers, their farms, productions and financial history
2. Farmers and farming management system for AMCOS to have real time insights on performance of each farmer in their groups including crop collection, financial management, inputs distribution and much more. AMCOS will have all data related to mapped farmers, their farms, productions and financial history . Unions will have all data related to mapped farmers, their farms, productions and financial history
3. Warehouse management system, to have insights in real time on movement of crops, storage and all other related warehouse management system
4. Farm management for farm enterprises
5. Inputs distribution management for agro dealers
6. Crop collection and manufacturing management for manufacturers
7. Agronomy management system for agronomists
8. And much more
We provide all these modules to our users in partnership with investment firms, banks, insurance and various agricultural stakeholders who are more interested with clean data for future commercial ventures. We invite partners like Cooperatives, Farmers unions, investment firms, banks, insurance and various agricultural stakeholders to join us on MAP MY FARMERCAMPAIGN to map all farmers in Tanzania.
Together, we can make a lasting impact on the agricultural industry.
Our offices is at Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, 3rd Floor.