eGrow is a simple technological solution to the complex problem of rural farming communities and food security. The eGrow platform project has a goal of rapidly transforming small scale rural farming communities into self-sufficient and effective by introducing many benefits such of modern technology through logistical support, an essential toolkit, a learning platform all geared towards promoting more modern and efficient farming methods.
How does it work
eGrow has two main components The Overwatch and the eGrow mobile app.
The Overwatch is a simple low cost optimized computer running the eGrow server software with dedicated internet connection. The main functions of the Overwatch is to provide up-to-the hour weather report and analysis, host media content, manage app usage data, push notifications: (Disaster prevention alerts, Farming calendar notifications, call for meetings from agro research centers) as well as provide details of individual farmers have to sell (produce) or need to get (e.g. Fertilizer, pesticide).
The client end of the eGrow is the mobile app with predefined natural language commands and a simple illustrated interface. The App can directly fetch all services like weather updates, hosted content, indicate they have produce to sell, request for assistance from research centers all from The Overwatch via a wide are local connection by a custom mesh network. This is done for practical sake as many rural communities do not have access to strong internet connections hence we design the eGrow Overwatch to handle multiple request/eRuns from up to 1000+ clients/farmers simultaneously.
So Why eGrow.
Being the world’s fastest mobile region at number of people in sub-Saharan owning a smartphone is very easy due to low cost and availability. Smartphones are popular even in remote rural communities and with smartphone ownership in the region projected to raise to 625 million by 2025 it is safe to say that a solution via a mobile app is not just easy to integrate into the communities but highly practical and sustainable.
Simple to use app
With most farmers in the sub-Saharan Africa having little or no formal education our app will use a set of predefined natural (local) language voice commands and very well illustrated user interface to help Farmers to make use of all the functions of the eGrow platform.
Designed to attract local farmers
Added to operating in natural language predefined commands the eGrow client app is designed to be intimate with its users as it will host audios, videos and animations in local language about diseases identification, prevention, better farming practices as well as local entertainment during certain time periods.
Research and support
Overwatch will share usage data as well as weather patterns with trusted nearby agricultural research centers these metrics will help in development as well as devise blueprints to improve efficiency. This is a key feature as transport is a major problem in sub Saharan Africa limiting researchers to do extensive studies on day to day farming practices. This partnership will also allow farmers hence farmer’s easy access to personnel via the eGrow app.
We strongly believe that when implemented within three years communities eGrow will increase production by more than 30% and with more features by 7 years production can be 45-60% more efficient essentially transforming what is now one of the most impoverish regions in the world to one of the more reliable food baskets.