AgriPredict has recorded a spike in usage on the platform from 26,000+ unique visits in November compared to 6400+ in October, 2022. AgriPredict Chief Executive Officer, Cassandra Mtine has announced a significant spike led by the demand for weather information service. Farmers use the Hourly Forecast – up to 48 hours and the Daily Forecast – up to 8 days to view weather information in order to adequately plan their land preparation and planting timing.
Other features on the platform such as Market Access and Early Warning System also experienced a spike as well. 70% of all new signups are amongst persons aged 16 to 29 years old. Also usage numbers amongst those above the age of 50 have also significantly risen, showing that the platform is useful to people of all ages.
Mtine added that “As we come to the end of 2022 we are reflecting on AgriPredict’s accomplishments and strategically positioning ourselves for the coming years. Improved food security is our focus by leveraging technology”.
The top 5 in usage of the AgriPredict USSD (*404# MTN only) platform include Mpika, Kasama, Mpongwe, Solwezi and Serenge, with the most active user coming from Ndola. Also significant to note, is the usage amongst women aged 30 to 39 outpacing women aged 20 to 29 counterparts. For men, those aged 20 to 29 were more active than the men aged 30 to 39.
AgriPredict is a woman led startup which was set
up as a solution to the pressing challenges being experienced by small scale farmers. These include
reducing risks involved in farming, plant disease, pest infestations, droughts – all that can
negatively impact farm yields. It is an agri-tech company whose aim is to provide farmers with timely and on demand information that is delivered with accessibility in mind for all farmers. The lack of access to vital and timely agricultural information, especially for farmers in the rural areas, has for a long time posed a threat to their yields, income and lives. Our research shows that pests, diseases, weather and markets are some of the most painful points affecting small scale farmers in Zambia. With the use of machine learning, AgriPredict has developed a tool to help reduce risks such as pests, diseases and weather conditions, as well as equip farmers with vital agricultural information to improve their yields.
Current services include disease diagnosis, market access, agri-services, weather, agro-dealers and early warning system. The tool is a mobile application that can be downloaded on the Android platform as well as accessed via our USSD platform, allowing any farmer with a feature phone to use the services by dialing a short code on the MTN network (we will be offering the service via Zamtel soon). This technology would help fill a gap in the agriculture sector, particularly for the small scale farmers who have the greatest challenge with
access to information.
“We continue to learn from our journey thus far to ensure that our services remain relevant and impactful. Farmers and stakeholders continue to be enthusiastic about the services offered. Consequently, the updated platform recently launched is a direct response to farmer’s feedback,” AgriPredict Chief Executive Officer, Cassandra Mtine. “Undoubtedly, the data and feedback shows the demand and need for the services. It is important to re-enforce sensitisation activities to ensure usage particularly for the roll-out phase. The need to work with partners and stakeholders on the ground remains critical to ensure farmers and stakeholders obtain the full benefit of registering and using the platform”.
“AgriPredict is focused on providing access to on-demand vital agricultural information to farmers as a solution to various problems being experienced by farmers. AgriPredict constantly involve farmers and stakeholders in developing their products and keep an active feedback loop with its stakeholders in ensuring the platform remains relevant to those that need it the most”.