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Work Update

[Work Update]: FarmEd Timor - Goals in Detail for the Month - July 2018

Patrick Edwards
Patrick Edwards | Jul 4, 2018 | in FarmEd - Timor-Leste

Following two successful months of the broad agriculture project in Timor, the direction has been narrowed and shifted towards the FarmEd business model. Over these months, the context of Timorese farmers situation has been established, with much work on empathizing the with the local communities, agriculture students, and members of the supply chain to form a solid base for the FarmEd model to grow from. This month, the team of 4 bring a diverse range of skill sets and are focusing on goals in the Sales and Tech and MVP testing experiments. The goals are as follows:

  1. Collect 75 surveys assessing farmers willingness to pay for a service, and the market validity of smartphone technology.

An emphasis for this month, is to focus on the quality of the data and information we are receiving, as opposed to quantity. Priority will be focused on effectively preparing the empathy questions with the team, as well as the interns, and rapport building techniques. Effective means of quantitative data collation will be analysed, ensuring the most efficient transfer of information.

We are seeking to learn the most desired wants of the farmers, to create the most beneficial product for them. This information will then be used to firstly assess the want to pay for a service to assist in the noted areas, producing an effective base of viability.

Furthermore, specific customer segments and their analysis will be expanded upon from the information collected, as well as previous months data. Again, focus will be put on the quality of this analysis. Initially, we will be implementing a format of; Customer Segment, Pain Points, Riskiest Assumption, Minimum Success Criterion and Actions to Take. The Riskiest Assumption is essentially an initial hypothesis of what the customer segment needs, based on the pain points. Minimum Success Criterion refers to the minimum degree of success required in order to justify that the riskiest assumption was true.

Regarding the market for smartphone technology, in the survey we will be assessing the access to viable internet connection, language barriers, and the access and adoption rate of smartphones. This accessibility will the be collated onto a map, for ease of digestion.

2. Make 15 Sales

These sales are from different potential MVP options, which can be combined. One option is to provide feedback to various farms, through the use of the sensors. These sensors would not be a product sold to customers, but incorporated in the service. Another option is for a feedback service through a Facebook page, simulating a chatbot.  These sales are deemed by any form of monetary payment to FarmEd, with an associated signature. These sales will show genuine traction in the viability of the FarmEd business model.

3. 17 Case Studies  

These case studies will be critical to both the sales and Tech and MVP testing stages. 15 Case studies are to be conducted on the MVP provided to the customers, addressing they engage with the Facebook page, taking photos of pests and diseases, and with the use of sensor technology, as well as their response to the advice, and their crops response. The aim is for these case studies to be continued during the following project months. Two case studies are to be conducted on the day in the life of a farmer, to further assess pain points and genuine wants. How this will be effectively conducted is to be determined.


Two other side hustles have been identified.  Firstly, to form a strong relationship with AVANSA, of USaid. AVANSA is currently our main competitor, working with a $19M budget in Timor. Our goals are aligned, and they are only operating for one more year. Thus with a strong relationship, there is the potential for them to provide us with resources and information they have gained.

Secondly, establishing university credit for agriculture students of UNTL to continue work during the months we are not in the country. What this work will involve is to be developed, where this provides an excellent opportunity for the project.


It’s an exciting and big month ahead! Would love to hear your thoughts and feedback.


edited on 6th September 2018, 01:09 by Justin Hakeem

William Lee Jul 4, 2018

Hey Pat,

Regarding the collection and storage of data, please see my post (link below) on data structure and survey design. Isaac's survey is also a good starting point for designing what will be a largely similar survey with respect of UX testing.

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Patrick Edwards Jul 5, 2018

Hey Will,

Love your advice, we will begin incorporating the techniques today! Had a look at Isaac's survey, and we have already begun empathizing very similar points. I also suggest Isaac taking a look at what we have begun using, which is quite thorough.

Many Thanks

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Felix Zerbib Jul 18, 2018

Hey Pat!

Similarly to you we've been conducting currency tests. I'd be interested to know how exactly you're running your sales as it sounds really similar to how we're going about it. We are working closely with FarmEd I (UX) to get farmers to use the sensors themselves, and send through photos to the FarmEd Fiji Facebook page.
From that we're inputting pH and soil data to a program (happy to send you the code) that outputs cropping recommendation based on previous months' data collection. We're sending this back through to the farmers to simulate how the end state of the app could work.
We're charging a $1 (negotiable) price for this "demo", and following up with a quick survey in order to determine current farm expenses, how farmers are currently obtaining agricultural expertise and how frequently they would be able to pay for a subscription based service.

Does this sound similar to what you guys have been doing?

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Justin Hakeem Aug 27, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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