THE CHALLENGE

Help us design a tool we can give farmers in remote communities to make them less vulnerable in the face of change

From early 2015 through 2016, Grameen Foundation and Propellerfish worked together to design, optimize and pilot a program that helps farming families in the Philippines become more resilient to change.

We began our journey by understanding the core vulnerabilities of farmers in two remote parts of the Philippines: Quezon Province and Davao. We spent two weeks in field, spending time with farmers, their wives, their children, and their communities to understand their vulnerabilities and their existing coping strategies first hand.

Our solution paired a technology platform with a network of agents visiting farmers with a smart device. The device contains an encyclopedia of knowledge that can help farmers develop their farms. It can also link them to financial services, open up access to more lucrative markets and deliver personalized sms alerts for farmers based on their specific needs.

“Aside from designing a solution that works in very real world terms, Propellerfish left behind a legacy of positive impact on the team in terms of profound thinking and deep personal commitment to our success.”

GIGI GATTI, Regional Director Asia @ Grameen Foundation

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THE OUTCOME

A new service with digital and physical touch-points, based on available resources and technologies, able to link local farmers to a wider range of opportunities.

Our solution was solid, but solutions are only useful in practice. In early 2015, we returned to Davao to prototype our solution with a team of local agents over five days. First, we took the team local agents through formal FarmerLink training. We then sent them out into the field to trial the solution with farmers and experiment with different forms of engagement. We then sat down together to download our learnings and iterate on the model to simplify the overall farmer experience. In one week, we turned a solution that made sense in theory into one that worked in practice.

The program is currently being piloted in Davao and has received a grant for up to $1 Million in funding from USAID, the Rockefeller Foundation and SIDA as part of the Global Resiliency Partnership.

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