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White Flint Ampitheater Panel Lessons From Other Sectors
Dec 09, 2019 04:15 PM - 05:30 PM (America/New_York) Switch to local time
20191209T1615 20191209T1730 America/New_York Digital technology and the intersection of animal and human health White Flint Ampitheater 2019 Global Digital Health Forum gdhf2019@dryfta.org
Professionalizing rural agriculture cooperatives in Senegal with low cost, robust, open source ICT business solutions

04:15 PM - 05:30 PM2019/12/09 21:15:00 UTC - 2019/12/09 22:30:00 UTC
This session describes an agriculture extension program that transformed business management processes of 434 smallholder cooperatives growing rice, maize and millet crops in Senegal through the use of smartphone applications. For the Naatal Mbay program, RTI and Dimagi built CommAgri, an application that replaced the paper based data collection systems used by farmer networks. The application is based on CommCare, a platform typically used for health programs. It was chosen based on its demonstrated scale in other sectors, feature choices, ease of configurability, open source code and SaaS enterprise product approach. CommAgri facilitates the management of 75,000 detailed farmer profiles, their seasonal activities, crop monitoring, and harvest and yield assessments. Additional modules support credit tracking and inventory management. It also includes an Area Mapper tool to capture the area of farms, reducing the need to purchase a separate GPS device. CommAgri automatically provides crop production and financial health of each network through dashboards viewed regularly by Database Managers hired by the cooperatives, thus creating increased transparency and crop traceability and thereby allowing them to professionalize systems and capture markets beyond local subsistence. Dimagi and RTI are testing sustainable business model approaches to ensure CommAgri and its services can be sustainable through innovative cost recovery mechanisms. This involves partnerships with private sector partners selling agriculture insurance and offering loans and credit to farmers. The CommAgri platform offers these partners the opportunity to connect to large volumes of detailed farmer profiles and crop information, to sell tailored digitally enabled financial services. These new services are opportunities for cost-recovery and the answer to a long term sustainable business model for CommAgri.
Presenters Mohini Bhavsar
Sr. Business Development Director, Dimagi
Integrated Digital Solution for Supporting Fishery Sector in Senegal

04:15 PM - 05:30 PM2019/12/09 21:15:00 UTC - 2019/12/09 22:30:00 UTC
Fishery employs 17% of Senegal’s workforce and provides 70% of the nation’s animal-based protein. About 90% of the country’s fish are caught by “artisanal” fishers whose earnings depend on weather patterns, market prices, access to capital and consumer demand. The Wireless Solutions for Fisheries in Senegal (WISE) initiative applied a user-centric approach to explore and understand individual and institutional user needs, develop user-need-responsive digital solution, test prototype with real-time intervention, deploy and improve the solution based on user needs and technology options. Fishermen and fish processors access WISE services via Android app or web-interface and key functionalities include: alert fishers when they cross restricted zones or international borderline; enable fishers to communicate exact locations with coastguard if stranded on the ocean; provide navigational information and weather forecasts; provide virtual marketplace to negotiate best prices for for fresh and processed fish; chart safe courses to and from fishing zones; access mobile money and financial services; and provide fish processing best practices and hygiene education in audio, video or text. Users interact with the mobile app via visual interface, voice commands, or artificial intelligence (AI) powered chatbot which was introduced to increase app usage. The AI-powered chatbot capabilities include natural language understanding, context recognition, and interactive learning. The project has targeted 200 local cooperatives serving over 5,200 fishermen and fish processors. Weekly market prices for fresh and processed fish collected by WISE app are shared with Senegal’s Food Security Commission for assessing food security situation and develop a national preparedness action plan for minimizing food shortages. A study involving 150 cooperatives using the WISE solution showed that fish processors achieved a ten-fold increase in their business, from 100 kilos to 1,000 kilos of fish/person/month; and fishermen increased their income by as much as $550/year.
Presenters Berhane Gebru
Digital Development, FHI 360
Dimagi
Sr. Business Development Director
FHI 360
Digital Development
Mr. Bobby Jefferson
DAI
VP, Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
Dr. David Potenziani
IntraHealth International
Senior Informatics Advisor
Dr. Mahuina Campos-Castolo
Biomedical Informatics, School of Medicine, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Researcher
Download Presentation Submitted by Mohini Bhavsar
Download Presentation Submitted by Berhane Gebru