Agriculture is not just a simple task; it requires diligent monitoring and scientific analysis to improve the livelihoods of farmers, especially small-scale farmers. I can understand this firsthand from our story of an old startup that failed. We created an e-commerce platform to register farmers, hoping to connect them directly to the market. However, we failed miserably, and it hurts me to see others still making the same mistakes. Our first attempt, last 5 years was an e-commerce platform for smallholder farmers called Sokoworld.com hoping to make things better for smallholder farmers in Africa by connecting them directly to the market bypassing middlemen but ended up with the same middlemen as users not our targeted farmers. More than 20,000 users , and 80% of users being middlemen claiming to be farmers.
We left the City with a heavy heart went back to the village, dreading the long journey ahead. While in the village working with smallholder farmers, agronomists and agro input dealers brought home the harsh reality of the situation: Small Scale Farmers in Africa are not getting the support they need due to a flawed local agronomy and agro dealer distribution system and an unfriendly agricultural Supply Chain, which leads to low productivity, poor quality produce, unsustainable production and food wastage. Furthermore, there isn't any proper food systems to track quality and data about smallholder farmers. The government is facing the same challenge. Most of the data about farmers from Africa is based on guesses and inaccurate estimations, making the situation even worse. Because of our mistakes and challenges faced, we came back stronger with a SaaS based Digital Agriculture and Farm ERP platform to manage farmers, farming activities and control complex farm operations, make data-driven decisions, optimize cost, improve yields based on real-time insights and advanced field analytics from planning to harvest designed for Individual Farmers, Commercial Farmers, Extension officers, Cooperatives, Agro dealers, Manufacturers, Traders and all other agricultural stakeholders.
It was a painful lesson, but we realized that registering farmers alone is not enough. To make a real difference in the lives of farmers, we must invest in improving the performance of all stakeholders who work with and serve farmers, including extension officers. We came back 10 times stronger because we learned our lesson that, we cannot expect to increase crop production and improve the lives of farmers without first improving the performance of extension officers. Extension officer is our first partner on our innovation.
Extension officers play a vital role in managing farmers and end to end farm activities, and their work involves many activities. But how can we empower them to manage farmers scientifically? That's where MazaoHub Farm ERP comes in. We believe that providing extension officers with an agronomy management software system can optimize their work and enable them to make data-driven decisions in real-time.
For instance, the MazaoHub Farm ERP platform can help extension officers with farmers plan all the way from land preparation to harvest and then monitor end to end farm activities from land preparation to harvest to movement of crops including soil nutrients, provide pest and disease control measures, and determine the best planting methods. By equipping extension officers with this platform, we can help them manage each farmer's agriculture scientifically, improving the overall performance of small-scale farmers.
Another crucial partner and user of the MazaoHub Farm ERP system is cooperative societies that work with smallholder farmers. Unfortunately, we hear too often of corrupt practices, complaints from farmers, and loss of money. We cannot entirely blame the cooperative society leaders for these problems. Most of them are still operating manually, which is a significant challenge when serving a large number of farmers.
Imagine trying to manage the production of 80,000 farmers manually, knowing their yields, and managing the distribution of inputs and loans without a digital system. It's a nearly impossible task. Additionally, coordinating the movement of crops from farms to collection centers, warehouses, and markets is also extremely difficult without a system that can handle such operations.
To achieve results and improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, we must invest in improving the working environment for cooperative societies. By providing them with a digital system to manage their internal operations, production, extension officers, input distribution, and global markets, we can significantly improve the operations of these societies and increase the transparency and accountability of their activities.
With the MazaoHub Farm ERP system, cooperative societies can have a centralized platform to manage all their operations, including tracking farmer yields, managing the distribution of inputs, and monitoring the movement of crops from farms to markets. This digital system can also facilitate more efficient lending practices, reducing the risk of corruption and financial loss.
WAREHOUSES AND MILLERS
In addition to extension officers and cooperative societies, MazaoHub also has other important partners and users: millers and owners of warehouses. These individuals face unique challenges when it comes to serving farmers, and unfortunately, many of these challenges stem from operating without a digital system.
For example, millers and warehouse owners often lend money to farmers so that they can do business with them during harvest season. This lending process is critical for farmers, as it allows them to invest in their crops and increase their yields. However, without a digital system, this lending process can be inefficient, inaccurate, and even corrupt.
Moreover, farmers are the biggest customers of these millers and warehouse owners, who store their harvest in their warehouses and process their crops. Yet, many of these operations are still done manually, leading to significant inefficiencies and errors.
Without the right tools and technology, it is difficult for these millers and warehouse owners to serve small farmers effectively and change their lives. That is why the MazaoHub Farm ERP system is so crucial. By providing a digital platform for these partners to manage their operations, they can improve their lending practices, streamline their warehousing and processing activities, and ultimately better serve their farmer customers
MazaoHub Farm ERP also works with Agro dealers, who play a crucial role in providing agricultural inputs to smallholder farmers. Unfortunately, most of Agro dealers sell agricultural inputs just like general shops or more like street hawkers, with one focus to sell more and more without considering the impact on the farmers they serve. And more than that their operation activities are entirely manual, and they lack a system for managing their farmers and selling inputs as a service. This lack of organization and structure results in a detrimental impact on smallholder farmers' lives.
Recently, we had MazaoHub Farm ERP team implementing Agro dealer service software to agro dealers, while taking counts of inventories to digitize their operations, we discovered many surprising things. For instance, a farmer may come to agro dealer shop and request NINJA INSECTICIDE because another farmer recommended it to him. The farmer purchases NINJA and applies it to his farm without considering its dosage or soil type, even though he had used KUNG FU INSECTICIDE on the same soil before but in higher dosage. The farmer uses NINJA solely because he was advised to do so by another farmer, even though NINJA has no different function from KUNG FU, leading to the destruction of the crops.
This is the problem when agro dealers lack a history of a farmer's input use, and all they know is to sell. Imagine if they had a system that allowed them to check a farmer's input history before selling them anything. For example, before selling inputs to a farmer, they could first check the system to see what fertilizer the farmer used the last time and the condition of their soil, among other things. The absence of such a system is a root cause of climate change and farmers' haphazard practices.
As MazaoHub, we are disrupting agro dealer distribution system by transforming ordinary input stores into farmer support centers in Swahili KLINIKI ZA KILIMO by providing them with a system that allows them to manage their farmers and know the production history of each farmer, the history of input use, and a system for managing input sales with automated accounting reports based on accounting reporting standards. With this, they can invest more and serve farmers with quality, thereby improving the lives of smallholder farmers.
ALL OTHER STAKEHOLDERS
At MazaoHub, we deeply understand the value of every single agricultural stakeholder mentioned above. We know that farmers are the heart of our industry, but we also recognize that they cannot succeed alone. That's why we're proud to work alongside a diverse range of partners, each of whom plays a crucial role in supporting farmers and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Without forgetting other important partners, our off-taker partners. These are the buyers who purchase farmers' products, whether it's fresh produce, grains, or other crops. Without off-takers, farmers would struggle to find a market for their goods, and their hard work would go to waste. That's why we've made sure to incorporate off-takers into the MazaoHub Farm ERP, providing them with a seamless platform to connect with farmers and make deals that benefit everyone.
We also work closely with agricultural boards, who oversee the production and distribution of specific crops. These boards play a critical role in ensuring that farmers have the resources and support they need to succeed. By incorporating their systems into the MazaoHub Farm ERP, we're able to streamline communication and create a more efficient, collaborative agricultural ecosystem.
Of course, we also recognize the importance of financial partners like banks and insurance providers. These institutions help farmers access the funding and protection they need to take risks and invest in their operations. That's why we've provided them with their own dedicated systems within the MazaoHub Farm ERP, making it easier than ever for farmers to get the support they need to thrive.
At the end of the day, our mission is simple: to revolutionize agriculture by investing in every stakeholder in agriculture sector including development agencies, big or small. Because we know that Smart agriculture starts with MazaoHub, but it takes a village to make it thrive.