A data-based innovation that can help farmers decide the best time to sell their produce won first prize at the ICT4D Data Jam event recently. Creators of the ‘price prediction’ application programming interface (API), Team Time2Sell, say that their application will help farmers sell their harvest for the best price and create customized installment sales plans for farmers based on their existing loans, interests, quantity of crop, and more.
They also propose to offer a storage service for farmers who do not have the luxury of staggering movement of their goods to market, but wish to choose an installment sales strategy. The Time2Sell proposal and API could be leveraged by existing rural advisory services such as RML AgTech to help their customer farmers avoid price arbitrage by middlemen, and make the best possible sales decisions.
The ICT4D Data Jam was hosted by the ICRISAT ihub that was opened earlier this year as an innovation hub to bring entrepreneurs, scientists and industry together to co-create new solutions.
The Data Jam was an event for data entrepreneurs, data analysts, IT professionals and academics, to find data-based solutions on how technology can better address the development challenges facing India and the world today. Participants discussed and debated how technology and data can meet the needs of farmers and the environment, and how we could overcome common pitfalls of “tech for ag” projects. At the ICT4D Data Jam, hackers were set an agriculture and environment challenge and provided with related datasets and APIs to hack solutions.
The three teams each won up to USD 1000 and also have a chance to get access to up to USD 8000 in donated business and consultancy services as well as membership at the newly-opened ICRISAT ihub.
The team members of Time2Sell were Raghu Prasad Mulukoju, Chief Technology Officer, Our Food Pvt Ltd; Harsh Nisar, Data Scientist, IFMR LEAD; Hari Prasath Sundaram, Consultant, Consulting AgriTech; and Bala Reddy V, Co-Founder and CEO, Our Food Pvt Ltd. On winning the award, Raghu Mulukoju said, “I have to keep myself updated with the latest innovations happening in the Agri space. Events such as the ICT4D Data Jam help me to understand the innovation leads and most importantly, evaluate our own innovations and feasible implementations at Our Food Pvt Ltd. These ICT4D events bring people together, to connect and network with people at higher levels around the world in different organizations, which is difficult to do otherwise.”
The second place was secured by team AgriBarT, who developed a dynamic group formation app that enables collective bargaining for small-scale farmers. The team built a prototype to identify farmers with similar purchase requirements, demographics, geographies and historical cropping patterns. The app will empower farmers to gain benefits through bulk ordering in the shared economy.
The third place was taken by team Kalgudi, who developed a Role-Based Facet Engine. The team’s proposal combined discrete data sources to provide actionable interactions between agriculture stakeholders for socio-economic change. Their solution leverages a social platform for stakeholders across the value chain, and allows users to filter information and receive critical alerts based on their role in that value chain.
The ICT4D Data Jam was held on 12-13 May at ICRISAT ihub, in partnership with the ICT4D Conference, ICRISAT, aWhere, Global Development Analytics Group, A-M-Z Group, Digital Globe and ESRI India. The judges for the event were Rama Iyer, Senior Vice President, Strategic Alliances, T-Hub; Christian Merz, Senior Program Officer, BMGF; and Dr Andy Jarvis, Director of Decision and Policy Analysis Area, International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).