Since winning the Call for Code Global Challenge in October 2020, the Agrolly team has been hard at work on improving, scaling, and expanding the scope of their farming technology solution. In the few short months since being named winner, the Agrolly team, with mentorship from IBM, has built infrastructure and hired local staff on the ground across markets so that they can continue to improve the app based on direct feedback from farmers. Today, more than 500 rural farmers across Brazil, India, and Mongolia are testing Agrolly and providing feedback.
Currently, 70% of food production around the world comes from small rural farms, but the farmers, many of whom are women, are often left behind when it comes to being able to adapt to the changing climate. Agrolly’s goal is to give these rural farmers affordable access to the same kinds of AI-powered data and insights that large factory farms use. As mobile phone adoption has grown in rural areas across the globe, Agrolly saw the opportunity to use those devices to bring a bevy of information about weather patterns and crop characteristics, as well as advice and tips on what to grow, how to grow, and when to grow it, directly to small farmers.
The Agrolly team, made up of developers from Brazil, India, Mongolia, and Taiwan, were passionate about creating this technology because they had seen first-hand the effects that climate change was having on their local communities. Three of the four co-founders of Agrolly are women, and they’ve committed to empowering women by facilitating access to information and cheaper sources of finance to help women farmers succeed and provide a brighter future for their families.
“Agrolly can give rural women farmers more knowledge and awareness to participate in the decision-making process,” said Chimka Munkhbayar, co-founder and COO of Agrolly. “Women farmers will be able to create their own networks through the app and learn about the farming management and market information that could empower them to take a larger role in the farming business.”
The Agrolly platform, which is built on IBM Cloud Object Storage and IBM Watson Studio technology along with The Weather Company data, delivers customized environmental indicators directly to farmers’ hands in a single, integrated digital platform that is accessible to internet and smartphone users.
“We want to help small farmers improve their condition of life by achieving greater productivity. With Agrolly, farmers can be more prepared to fight the effects of climate change, can obtain better access to markets and financing through our networking function, and ultimately, create a supportive and mutually beneficial ecosystem,” said Manoela Morais, CEO of Agrolly. “Agrolly aims to make a real difference in the Aggrotech industry by providing an efficient and easily accessible technology solution that’s within the reach of small farmers, helping them control their own destiny.”
Based on feedback from small farmers, Agrolly is working on location-specific apps, along with a new central database to collect information across markets on use cases and similarities in demand. These analytics help optimize the insights they provide to farmers. Later this year, the Agrolly team plans to expand access to farmers in Taiwan, and hopes to visit some of the pilot test locations to meet with the farmers, many of whom are women. The team is working on an IBM Service Corps deployment plan aimed to improve and test their technology in the coming months. As the project progresses, Agrolly will also receive support from The Linux Foundation in making its platform open source, which will give developers around the world the opportunity to contribute to it.
Because of their transformative work using AI, IBM recognized Manoela Morais, Chimka Munkhbayar, and Helen Tsai as part of its 2021 cohort of Women Leaders in AI. The program celebrates 40 women across 18 countries who are using IBM Watson to drive transformation, growth, and innovation across a wide variety of industries.
The Agrolly app is currently available to download in the Google Play Store, free of charge, with plans to be in the Apple App Store later this year.
To keep up with the latest on Agrolly, stay tuned to IBM Developer blogs for updates.