David Davies from AgUnity
AgUnity is helping increase incomes for the smallest farmers in developing countries via the use of blockchain tech.
We have two entities: one, AgUnity, is a commercial entity that builds the technology and runs pilot projects to prove the impact, and the other, AgriLedger, is a charitable trust that allows us to partner with and receive funding from NGOs.
From our pilot projects, we develop case studies that support grant applications from (as one example) the AusAid incentive fund, to enable us to set up co-operatives and provide free phones and AgriLedger to around 1,000 farms in Bougainville.
In Myanmar we’re partnering with IFC.
In Kenya, and later Ghana and Ethiopia, we’re partnering with African Development Bank.
Farmers receive everything including the phones for free, and in a relatively short time (e.g. one growing season) see an substantial increase in their disposable income.
AgriLedger is also a digital wallet and an online store.
Via the app, we encourage farmers to use their newfound additional income in positive ways.
We allow companies to provide ethical products and services into a new, completely untapped market. Things such as solar lights, farming equipment, and micro-loans can be accessed by the farmers directly via AgriLedger.
Companies providing these services pay us royalties, around 10%, however we ensure the farmer is always getting better value than they otherwise would have.
The royalties fund more product R&D and more pilot projects and grant applications.
Over 1 billion small-scale farmers earn their income from Agriculture, yet up to 50% of a farmer’s crop value ‘vanishes’ between harvest and sale.
Huge inefficiencies in planning, a lack of empowerment and a lack of access to proper farming resources result in poor harvests, spoilage of crops and poor prices at point of sale.
Farming cooperatives are seen the most effective and equitable way to increase farmer’s incomes by overcoming these inefficiencies, however poor record keeping and a lack of transparency often results in farmers being taken advantage of through corruption and graft.
Our solution is to enable trust between farmers and co-operatives by providing a smartphone and our blockchain app, AgriLedger, to farmers in the developing world, all for free.
This app enables farmers to easily record all transactions in an immutable ledger between each other and their farming cooperatives, and to plan better, buy and sell together and cooperate to share resources.
In our pilot projects in Kenya and Bougainville, farmer incomes increased by 3x on average from a single season to the next, all through sharing resources and buying/selling together.
Farmers can understand with confidence, even if they cannot read or write, that if they hand over their crops to a co-operative, they will receive payment for these crops for exact amount they provided, and trust the AgriLedger app.