We waste a lot of farm produce in Africa, and knowing the quality of each produce remains hard. Due to quality asymmetry, the buyer and seller cannot close deals without physical inspections. Most times, things happen because a good orange for you may be average for me depending on prior oranges I have seen. For some, it may even be a poor orange. How do you make this science with the taste of Africa’s unique situations?
We have an idea: build a sensor which when you attach it to a smartphone, a farmer can make that process a science. That way, a merchant can pay for produce even when not in that vicinity. Instead of sending images in extremely challenging low networks, we send data points which can be reconstructed at the other end, explaining the state and quality of that produce.
I want farmers to focus on their works. I want merchants to help them find new markets. I want them to come into contracts largely based on science, not speculation.
That is what I am working on, to provide common sense tools that would help African farmers communicate with merchants, restaurants, families, etc on state of the produce. I want to remove the huge marginal cost where you expect merchants to inspect before they buy. Technology can do the inspection, providing reliable data on quality to make trade happen.
Of course, you can use our sensor when you go grocery shopping. It becomes your eyes and helps you make better decisions. You can eliminate non organic food because our sensors would tell you chemicals in that produce.
We are in the lab, designing, testing, validating and examining crops. We are getting close to this. The promise: advance new architecture in African agriculture.