By Daniela Martínez Berríos, Knowledge Exchange Intern, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation.
Geographic information software is revolutionizing the business and development world. Geospatial technology allows businesses, companies, and agencies to expand programing and improve decision making. For example, researchers are geo-mapping to analyze the extent to which floods have affected Southeast Asia and to catalog strong geographic impacts on chronic malnourishment in Rwanda. By taking advantage of geospatial technology, organizations can formulate impact evaluations, satellite and survey outcome data, and spatial data, which could all be applied to measuring risk assessments and a project’s progress in the business and development fields. Smallholder farmers could access maps that display their crops’ productivity thanks to satellite and infrared data. Then, private sector agribusinesses and financial institutions working with these smallholder farmers could also have access to the data in order to evaluate their investments and project results. Geospatial technology therefore has the potential to deeply impact and alter development and business analysis and evaluation.
Solutions S.A., a Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation partner based in Haiti, is ahead of the curve in the IT and geospatial technology fields. Solutions specializes in custom software development and business process improvement in vertical segments such as public health monitoring and evaluation, municipal management, and traceability for key export crops in Haiti. Solutions and its partner, GeoNova, use an AgroTracking platform for farmer registration, group information, and operations registration to formalize collection points and facilitate transportation between farmer groups and exporters’ packing plants, greatly improving efficiency and securing the market for the farmer groups.
The AgroTracking traceability system allows for georeferenced traceability back to the point of production, which enables the exporter to ensure the crops purchased from Solutions-trained farmers meet US government traceability requirements for food safety and exports. Through Solutions’ partnership with Partnering for Innovation, it will train 300 mango farmer groups representing 9,000 farmers, who will sell at least 400,000 export-quality mangoes to export companies.
Investing in software and geospatial technology projects similar to Solutions’ would allow agribusinesses and smallholder farmers to increase efficiency and meet their market’s demands.
Let us know in the comments below if you have experience using geospatial technology or if you think it would be useful for your organization!
On September 28th, Daniela participated in Global Innovation Week 2017 led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and additional partners. Daniela attended various talks hosted by development researchers, policymakers, and social entrepreneurs engaged in innovative research projects.