African Social Enterprise Blog: Linking Women Farmers to Agricultural Innovation, AgTech, Smallholder Microfinance and Climate-Smart Agriculture
What does technology mean to you?
An explanation of technologies as they apply to smallscale farmers
What does technology mean to you? Does the thought of a blockchain ledger come to mind? Or, perhaps drones making deliveries to your doorstep? Or, the newest smart phone? When we have access to information and knowledge of what potential technological advancements exist, our minds wander to the most current or near-future possibilities.
The Oxford dictionary defines technology as:
“The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry”
All of the above examples serve a practical purpose in certain industries. For instance, blockchain ledgers can provide supply chain traceability while drone deliveries can facilitate blood deliveries in the healthcare industry in Rwanda. In the agricultural industry, particularly the sector that serves smallscale farmers (oftentimes known as smallholder farmers), the application of scientific knowledge must happen in a way that is practical for the smallscale farmer.
The Harvest Fund chooses agricultural technologies and innovations that serve the smallscale farmers in their program. They are technologies that increase incomes more rapidly and, thus, decrease the farmers’ dependence on our program, thereby helping them “graduate” out of donor aid. Not only that, these technologies are better for our environment because they fight climate change and build climate resilience.
Some examples of technologies and innovations that we consider are (note that these are only a sample of technologies):
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for smallscale farmers. However, this multi-pronged approach will more rapidly increase incomes throughout the calendar year so that farmers can truly become independent, profit-generating individuals.
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