WeFarm, a peer-to-peer network that enables small-scale farmers to access and share vital agricultural information even without internet, has reached over 100,000 users and secured GBP 1.3 million in seed funding led by LocalGlobe, a UK-based venture capital firm to reach more farmers in Africa.
Launched in 2015, WeFarm has hit over 100,000 farmers across Kenya, Uganda and Peru who are sharing more than 15 million pieces of information via its peer-to-peer mobile network crowdsourcing information and advice from other farmers, even when offline.
According to WeFarm Founder & CEO, Kenny Ewan, “Connecting farmers to relevant advice from other farmers is a completely new approach. The majority of information delivered to people living in poverty is top-down, whereas we are using a crowdsourcing model to unlock generations worth of grassroots knowledge, ideas, and experience among farmers. This is why WeFarm has already secured more than 100,000 registered members in an industry where less than 0.1 % of mobile apps ever reach even half that number.”
With this funding and more to come, WeFarm aims to reach 100 million farmers in five years to fill the global inequality around access to information allowing farmers to receive accurate answers to any agricultural queries via SMS. WeFarm uses machine learning technology to connect incoming questions to those users on the system who have the most relevant knowledge.
“WeFarm has created an SMS and web-based network that’s enjoying real user growth and engagement. We believe that this network, whether delivered on feature or smart phones, will, over time, become an important channel for farmers into the wider food supply chain,” said LocalGlobe partner Saul Klein.
Approximately 500 million small-scale farmers around the world provide over 70% of the world’s food. However, up to 90% have no access to the internet and they are often isolated and lack access to even basic agricultural information and new ideas. With the world’s population projected to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 and climate change an entrenched reality, increased pressures on the global food supply chain will only persist. Farmers and businesses without access to problem-solving technologies and data are at risk of being left behind. WeFarm aims to help solve all these and earn money along the way.
WeFarm generates revenue by supplying actionable insights to businesses, NGOs and governments for poverty eradication, disease and drought control among others.