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[Project Summary]: FarmEd Timor December 2018

The purpose of this report is to document the challenges that currently occur in the Timor-Leste agriculture sector. Our solution to the found challenges in Timor is a smartphone application called FarmEd that offers agricultural advice and education. December is the first month we have the Beta version of the app.

For the application to be well received, it was essential that Timorese farmers fit a few criteria. ​The December team has spent the month assessing if the farmers have mobile money or any other alternative online cash payments along with literacy tests, smartphone accessibility and usage. The results from our experiments show that farmers don’t use mobile money or any other form of online cash payments and there are liquidity problems across the country. Mobile money should be introduced into Timor by at least March 2019 by World Vision partnering with Mautinoa Technologies.

There is approximately 70% smartphone usage in the Greater Dili area, followed by 20% in the nearby regions and closer to 0% in the outer regions, furthest from Dili. We believe due to exponential technology and growth these numbers will increase over the next few years. Our results found that the literacy rate was quite high, around 80%, however this statistic would significantly lower outside of the Dili area, which we haven’t tested.

We have also assessed the sensor suppliers in Timor-Leste and found that if we continue with sensors (approx $20each to purchase locally) it will be very expensive, hence, it would be useful to find alternatives such as importing or working with a NGO.

The main focus of the December month was to get pre-sales of the FarmEd app to assess if traction could be gained. Over a period of approximately two weeks we reached 57 farmers and made 40 pre-sales which the January team will go back to download. Moreover we conducted multiple stakeholder meetings with government, NGO’s and businesses, along with gaining contacts to organise community meetings. These contact details have all been logged into a program called Hubspot,enabling an easier transition and adoption of the project by ​the January team. Many supporting documents, such as SOPs, were also created to facilitate these tasks.

Jess Riley Jan 1, 2019

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