Keeping farm records is an essential part of a farmer’s routine tasks, but one that requires discipline and basic statistical practices. For poultry farmers, this means not only tracking production but also ensuring their animals’ good health.
They need to keep quantitative data such as chickens’ feed, weight and mortality rate. These were the reasons behind the creation of AviApp, a mobile-based application for poultry farmers to manage and plan their production and finances.
AviApp is being developed and tested since January 2018, as a result of a collaborative effort between a Senegal-based start-up, Soft & Consulting, and ASPRODEB/FAFA, the poultry farmers’ federation. These two partners are implementing and financing the development of this new tool in a co-ownership agreement.
Instead of keeping farm records manually in a book, the application provides an online platform for farmers to input data and track the progress they make with their production activities. The data collected from each farmer is synthesized and analysed to provide real-time responses to the specific operation needs, and advice related to production and marketing activities. Through AviApp, farmers gain insightful knowledge of their finance and production costs, and in this way they are able to determine the best prices to offer or to accept in the poultry market. Such information records can also strengthen their access to finance from banking institutions.
As a start-up firm, Soft & Consulting alone did not have the necessary financial capacity to develop AviApp. The procedures behind the necessary ICT applications development, data collection and information analysis demands significant monetary resources. In addition, Soft & Consulting did not have the community connection to encourage target farmers to adopt a new administrative work practice into their routines.
The establishment of a strategic partnership with ASPRODEB/FAFA helped them meet the financial needs and promote the necessary community engagement. Soft & Consulting started a co-ownership agreement with ASPRODEB/FAFA, securing sufficient co-funding and farmer-sensitization support from the federation. Farmers became willing to dedicate their time to input data into the application, following a pay-as-you-go model.