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[Project Summary]: FarmEd Timor July 2018

Patrick Edwards
Patrick Edwards | Jul 30, 2018 | in FarmEd - Timor-Leste


 It’s been a fruitful month for the FarmEd team this July. A small team has shown a big heart, seeing successes every day of project. This July was the first month of the refined FarmEd project, after formally being the agriculture assessment for two months. As such, the primary focus was proving the viability of the FarmEd app.

Farms were visited, meetings with stakeholders were held, and workshops with university students run. Many workshops, research, analysis and discussions where conducted. Many offer, and currency tests were carried out. Through this, the viability that there is a willingness to pay for advice, and access was tested, and that the potential customer is able to access a technologically based service and benefit from it was tested. Furthermore, what the farmers would want of this service was assessed.


We found

There is a want to receive agricultural advice, and there are promising signs for the willingness to pay for the service. The most desired wants that the farmers have for this advice include pest management, soil advice, water management, and general farming techniques.


-Smartphone technology is surprisingly prevalent to Timorese Farmers, where over 70% of farms visited had access to a smartphone, with good internet access.

-Numerous languages are spoken by the Timorese Farmers, with Tetun, one of the national languages being prevalent. English is essentially non-existent.

-There is a strong interest in the use of sensor technology by the Timorese Farmers.

 Initially, we were planning on providing farmers with agricultural advice as a part of the MVP case study. We decided to pause this and initiate User Experience Case studies which are sustained until December.


Case Studies

The case studies took a lot of work to initiate and shows the culmination of much of the months’ findings. After empathizing with many farms, and assessing potential customers, we reached out to some for the initiation of the case studies. These case studies are being conducted in Hera, Dare, and Dili. To those of interest we provided: 

  • Written instructions for using the sensors.
  • Written instructions for how to message the facebook page
  • A written agreement of responsibilities
  • A demonstration of the use of the sensors, how to record the data and how to send it on facebook
  • Feedback on them using the sensors and recording data.

Through the $6 deposits, the traction has grown that there is a willingness to pay, and interest in using and interacting with sensors.

 We will assess:

  • How the farmer's message on facebook
  • How effective the farmers are at recording data
  • The engagement of sending data (How often they send the data)
  • If the sensors remain in good condition
  • Any related issues with the sensors (If the break accidentally)
  • The user experience of the sensors.


As such, we have identified a customer segment who we believe are the early adopters of the FarmEd business model to initiate growth through in Timor. This being rural-urban, commercial farmers of moderate(relative) wealth.


Future Actions

The viability of the service needs to be tested through a prototyped MVP, and for iteration to occur. Therefore, the focus of this is to have an MVP ready for the commencement of the month, providing the ability to conduct much user experience testing of the service.  This prototype will be purely a service to receive agricultural advice. The lack of access to markets and business knowledge is a highlighted issue in Timor-Leste, and the viability of providing developments in these areas as a part of the service is to be assessed.


  1. Have 75 customers on the MVP platform. This may be the application or Facebook page.
  2. Conduct 25 customer case studies using sensors.
  3. Conduct 50 user experience tests of engaging with an application
  4. Conduct 75 surveys on how farmers access the market.
  5. Research and assess 10 agricultural companies/stores


Please see the attached project summary report for details.


Obrigado Barak! 

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

Andrew Vild Aug 7, 2018

Status labels added: Project Summary, Work Update

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