Project Everest

Project Summary

[Project Summary] July 2019

by
Isabelle Lance
Isabelle Lance | 6 months ago | in FarmEd - Fiji

The July 2019 team executed the following objectives: 

  1. Perform currency testing for smallholder and subsistence farmers

  2. Perform utility testing for usability of the app

  3. Perform solutions testing

More details on these core objectives and the other tasks completed throughout the month can be found in the handover document (see below).

 

  1. Performing currency testing for smallholder and subsistence farmers

The team surveyed 60 farmers from 10 villages to determine that farmers were willing to pay $1 for a one-month subscription to the MVP. The experiment reached a green light outcome (over 60%), with 72% of farmers surveyed buying the app. 

The results have been summarised below:

  • Average ability of farmers to control pests and diseases (Likert scale): 2.692/5 
  • Average income from the farm: $600 per month - Median $200 per month
  • Average farmers’ estimated yield loss due to P/D: Approx. 25% [Insert pie chart] 
  • Land size: Home - 20.5%, Community - 56.4%, Commercial - 23.1%

The experiment proposal and results for this can be found here:

Experiment proposal: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2001890 

Results: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2081130

 

  1. Performing utility testing for usability of the app

The usability of the app was determined by examining the number of customers that completed the customer journey. That is, the number that could download the app, submit questions, and implement the advice given.

The main blocks identified by Farmed are as follows: 

  • Not being able to use the service’s functions without assistance from FarmEd.      
  • Already having an effective mitigation strategy in place                                         
  • Not having access to a smartphone                                                                                
  • Not having access to data 

Not being able to use the service’s functions without assistance from FarmEd was the most significant block identified. This may be related to several other reasons why farmers had trouble utilizing the service, including complex language, no access to data etc. 

The second biggest block was farmers already having an effective mitigation strategy in place. We found that many farmers already used a combination of chemical and biological controls, which were effective in controlling pests and/or diseases.   

Not having access to a smartphone or access to data were the next largest blocks. Many farmers either had no phone or internet access, used a shared phone, or did not consistently have data on their phones. This led to many farmers not purchasing the app, or if they did purchase the app, many of these people were not able to submit questions. 

The relevant crowdicity posts are as follows:

Proposed experiment: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2002070 

Experiment results:  https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2113700 

 

  1. Performing solutions testing

Solutions testing was performed by examining the content of the questions submitted, and determining the number of questions related to the Pests and Diseases function of the application, and if they were unrelated, using that information to determine the functions of the application that customers desired. 

The results to the solution testing are as follows: 

The experiment achieved a green light outcome with 94.45% of farmers submitting questions related to the Pests and Diseases function of the app. It is important to note that many of the questions (79.2%) were submitted with assistance from FarmEd as app users were experiencing a number of utility blocks. This assistance hastened the experiment so that we could complete it within the specified time and permitted the completion of the utility testing experiment, but may have influenced the results of the experiment. 

The relevant crowdicity posts are as follows:

Proposed experiment: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2001910 

Experiment results: https://projecteverest.crowdicity.com/post/2104640

 

Main Barriers Faced: The main barriers faced by the FarmEd July team were farmers’ lack of smartphone and internet access. Many farmers either had no phone or internet access, used a shared phone, or did not consistently have data on their phones. This led to many farmers not purchasing the app, or if they did purchase the app, many of these people were not able to submit questions. There were also difficulties with using the app, and app malfunctions that prevented questions from being viewed and answered. 

 Overcoming the barriers: This month’s team overcame these barriers by individually demonstrating to each farmer how to send in a question. We also brought copies of the answers when we revisited them.  This presents a short-term fix as it would be unrealistic on a larger scale and presents biased material as some farmers weren’t able to navigate and utilize the service by themselves. These solutions are also not practical when FarmEd is not in the country. 

In regards to mitigation strategies that farmers already had in place, we asked what specifically they do, i.e. use pesticides, rotation etc, and also how they acquired the knowledge, i.e. MOA, previous generations of farmers.  

Allowing farmers to hotspot from our phones to download the app addressed the no access to a smartphone barrier. Moving forward, more descriptions and tutorials in the application will be beneficial. Selling small amounts of data in conjunction with the application is also an option worth exploring that should help assist with currency and solutions testing. 

Given the Facebook service had more success than the application, sales of the app will be discontinued in Summer 2019/2020, and the Facebook service will replace the app. 

 

Eugenia Muñoz 6 months ago

Status label added: Project Summary

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