OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Ensuring Food Security through Serialisation, Certification & Traceability for Agriculture Supply Chains

Traceability and certification technologies deployed to secure agro supply chains against faking & diversion thus ensuring food security.

Photo of Daniel Kwakye
3 3

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Mpedigree

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Other

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Mpedigree is a social enterprise.

Website of Legally Registered Entity

htttp:///www.mpedigree.com

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 10+ years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

mPedigree is multinational, operating in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya & India.

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

mPedigree is multinational, operating in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya & India.

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Tanzania

What country is your selected Place located in?

Tanzania

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

In Tanzania, the agricultural sector is key to the economy but productivity is strikingly low, in large part due to the limited adoption by farmers of recommended agricultural inputs such as improved seed, fertilizers and agrochemicals (pesticides). Prices of agro-inputs are generally high, quality is often low and availability is limited.

In the nation, over 65% of the population depend on farming as a means to provide to their household and income generation. By bridging in our service we are empowering Tanzanian farmers by building trust in farm inputs, thereby encouraging greater adoption of modern techniques and inputs, and leading in turn to higher yields and incomes thereby helping secure food security across the country.

Tanzanian farmers and input suppliers are set to benefit from the seed verification scheme by the use of their cellphone to verify the seeds bought. In that direction farmers are saved from huge losses incurred through buying fake seeds which often flood the market during the planting season.

In Tanzania the annual demand for seeds stands at 212,274 tonnes of which only 52,700 tonnes is supplied. Through our initiative we hope to encourage seed producers to offer more to the market, by ensuring we have rooted out all the avenues for counterfeit seeds hence ensuring gains to them. And also building farmers trust to the brands servicing the market.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

The character and culture of the Swahili is built on:

  • Being overt/aggressive is not part of the culture
  • It is important to live a life that is seamless and stress-free
  • Downtime and relaxing in the company of loved ones is common.
  • Cool, calm and collected society.
  • Culture inspired by the spirit of Ujamaa (The Post-Colonial ideology of communism
  • Swahili is the main language of instruction, The population still struggles a bit with English.
    The food People eat (tastes, flavors, and smells)

For Breakfast

  • Chai-Tea
  • Vitumbua- Coconut and rice Buns
  • Chappati/Pancakes
  • Mandazi – Doughnut

For Lunch.

  • Pilau – Rice cooked with more spices, with meat and vegetables.
  • Ugali- Stiff Porridge
  • Samaki – Fried Fish
  • Wali Maharage – Rice and Beans
  •  

For Lunch

  • Spaghetti with Sauce
  • Banana Curry
  • Kitimoto 
  • The climate and topography
     Covering approximately 365,000 square miles (945,000 square kilometers), Tanzania lies on the east coast of Africa, just south of the equator. It shares borders with Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and the Indian Ocean. Tanzania also shares three great lakes—Victoria, Tanganyika, and Malawi—with its neighbors. The country is comprised of a wide variety of agro-ecological zones: low-lying coastal plains, a dry highland plateau, northern savannas, and cool, well-watered regions in the northwest and south. The 120 ethnic groups that inhabit Tanzania have adapted to a wide range of geophysical and climatic conditions. The specific habits, customs, and life-views of each group have been influenced by tribal traditions and alliances, European invasions, population movements over the centuries, and introduced and endemic diseases. In the late 1990s, the central political administration was moved from Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast to the more centrally located city of Dodoma, which lies in the middle of the central plateau. Because of Dodoma's dry climate, relative lack of economic development, and small size, however, the port of Dar es Salaam remains the urban center of national importance. However the current regime has been pushing for Dodoma to regain its importance.

    The social dynamics, cultural traditions, language, and ethnic diversity.
     
  •  The population stands at about 56 million. With 68% living in rural areas. The main spoken languge is Swahili. Followed by other ethnic languages i.e Chagga, Gogo, Sukuma, Haya, Maasai, Christians and Muslims remain the dominant religions in the nation.

    The role of agriculture, farming and aquaculture, and dominant crops
  • Over the last 30 years approximately 85% of the real value of Tanzanian agricultural exports per capita has been lost, from an average US$64 in 1966-9 to $9 in 1992-6. Despite this, agriculture continues to contribute around 80% of export earnings, and most industry in the country is also linked to the agricultural sector, whether producing farm inputs such as fertilizer and farm tools, or processing agricultural products: cigarettes, canned meats, beer and pyrethrum.


  • What are the hopes of the People here?
  • Better life and improved standards of living.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

947303

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

59016446

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

As much as 40% of seeds sold in Eastern & Southern Africa, according to international organisations , are falsified and of questionable quality.1

(  https://www.cimmyt.org/news/in-your-seeds-i-trust-african-seed-companies-test-the-seedassure-application/)

Counterfeiting also spreads to other agro-inputs like fertilizers and chemicals usually needed to fight crop diseases and prepare lands for farming. These result in poor harvest and destruction of fertile farmlands rendering them unfit for farming. When foods are grown on these lands, it can result in harvests of unwholesome quality, sometimes out rightly harmful to the body. The economic toll is dire indeed. For agrarian economies in East Africa such as in Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania, it results in lower standards of living for stakeholders such as farmers and agro-traders, and their dependents.

Almost 70 percent of the poor population live in rural areas*, and almost all of them are involved in the farming sector. In 2020 the combined effects of these challenges will continue to hinder development, compound the problem of poverty, and make it difficult to achieve macro economic stability across communities in Tanzania. in the medium to long term, 2050 and beyond, these challenges would only worsen the conditions under which most farming communities in Tanzania live, deprive them of income, and make it even harder for them to escape poverty. This is most haunting in a country where Agriculture plays an integral role in the national and continental life.

At the heart of these issues are the fragmented nature of the ecosystems that must interact to produce results, and the lack of data generation platforms that can guide policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. This creates a situation where the little resources available are often misdirected and not properly matched to areas that can yield the greatest trickle down effects on the entire system.

https://www.tanzaniainvest.com/agriculture

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Mpedigree's world first serialization solution allows for the unique identifiers to be attached to all packs of agro inputs (seeds, fertilisers etc). These unique identifiers are non clonable codes and can be verified by the farmers via USSD or SMS, without an internet connection. A Tanzanian farmer needs only identify the code, and text it to a unique shortcode, typically at no cost to the farmer, and within seconds receive information confirming the authenticity or genuineness of that product or otherwise. This automatically ensures that only approved seeds and farming inputs get to these farmers (and subsequently used), and that counterfeit versions are weeded out of the supply chain.

Directly related to the above is the fact that by serialising all farming inputs you also enable their end to end track and trace, thereby making it virtually impossible for farming inputs targeted at, say vulnerable communities in Tanzania to be diverted. This creates a major policy relief, as it ensures that policy interventions and packages that target specific communities and farmers actually get to them and get put to their intended use, thereby curbing the problem of diversion and tampering.

At the heart of all these, the system is busy gathering data and generating valuable market insights that allows for seamless communication amongst stakeholders. Whether it is the producers of an agro input that wants to reach out to farmers with a new brand, or it is farmers that want to give feedback about a particular type of seed they bought, or state agencies trying to recall specific batches of fertilisers, the platform ensures that communication is properly targeted and at costs that are a fraction of the costs currently associated with advertising and mass media campaigns in Tanzania and even elsewhere.

In addition to the above, Mpedigree's Goldkeys platform brings together unique actors within a given ecosystem to deliver real value to farmers. They system brings together telecom companies, government agencies, producers of farming inputs and farmers together to collaborate in ways never before imagined. By weaving together such a unique blend of actors, Mpedigree is helping open news thinking around ways in which our social problems can be solved.



High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

We will be able to achieve food security, and nib in the bud what might possible develop into a famine situation. With the prevalence of fake farming seeds in Tanzania ( and other farming African countries), and the inability of farmers to distinguish between original and fake seeds, farmers are increasingly spending time planting and cultivating only to realise weeks and months later that they had been sold knockoff versions of the seeds they required. With Mpedigree's Goldkeys technology, seed serialization and end user authentication will ensure that farmers can verify before usage whether those seeds are authentic before going ahead to plant them. The eventual effect is that the supply chain get cleaned up right from the onset of the food production process. Only authentic, wholesome seeds are planted and only foods coming from such crops are harvested for feeding.

Related to the above is the fact that wholesome farm produce will be available for consumption by these farmers and their families, and also for commercial sales. The overall effect being an increase in crop yield and quality, with its positive effects on human nutrition and well being.

Of course, with farmers having access to the right seeds and farming inputs their harvests and incomes are bound to increase, and they can continue to put a lot more distance between themselves and poverty.

Entire communities thrive and the economy booms from trade in genuine and plentiful food products. Exports and foreign exchange transactions also receive a significant upsurge.

Clean supply chains ensures peace of mind for regulators allowing them to better optimise policies for strengthened and sustainable national development.

We are securing the wellbeing and safety of this and future generations, systematically developing every aspect of Tanzania societies, one safe and quality farm input at a time.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We look forward towards the future, the year 2015 and beyond with hope, optimism, enthusiasm for the agricultural sector of Tanzania, from its Dar es Salaam to even the remotest parts of the country. And the vision can only grow, further spreading others in the region of East Africa.

We are saving farmlands from the harmful effects of tampered agro chemicals; we are sustaining and maintaning generations of culture and diets by protecting the seeds from which they are grown and harvest to make indegenious recipies; we are boosting the contributions agriculture makes to the national economy; and we are empowering policy makers and government with the tools to police markets; all these powered by integrated technologies that connects people to information and stakeholders in the ecosystem.

To recap, our solution makes it possible for entire agro supply chains to be monitored and protected against tampering, diversion and counterfeiting. Various stakeholder supply chain such as farmers, agro-dealers, government regulators and agro-distributors can, in real-time, connect, collaborate, gain insights into markets, and share data to optimize food production and maintain on food systems for supplies for sustainable living standards.

Mpedigree's world first serialization solution allows for the unique identifiers to be attached to all packs of agro inputs (seeds, fertilisers etc). These unique identifiers are non clonable codes and can be verified by the farmers via USSD or SMS, without an internet connection. A Tanzanian farmer needs only identify the code, and text it to a unique shortcode, typically at no cost to the farmer, and within seconds receive information confirming the authenticity or genuineness of that product or otherwise. This automatically ensures that only approved seeds and farming inputs get to these farmers (and subsequently used), and that counterfeit versions are weeded out of the supply chain.

Directly related to the above is the fact that by serialising all farming inputs you also enable their end to end track and trace, thereby making it virtually impossible for farming inputs targeted at, say vulnerable communities in Tanzania to be diverted. This creates a major policy relief, as it ensures that policy interventions and packages that target specific communities and farmers actually get to them and get put to their intended use, thereby curbing the problem of diversion and tampering.

At the heart of all these, the system is busy gathering data and generating valuable market insights that allows for seamless communication amongst stakeholders. Whether it is the producers of an agro input that wants to reach out to farmers with a new brand, or it is farmers that want to give feedback about a particular type of seed they bought, or state agencies trying to recall specific batches of fertilisers, the platform ensures that communication is properly targeted and at costs that are a fraction of the costs currently associated with advertising and mass media campaigns in Tanzania and even elsewhere.

In addition to the above, Mpedigree's Goldkeys platform brings together unique actors within a given ecosystem to deliver real value to farmers. They system brings together telecom companies, government agencies, producers of farming inputs and farmers together to collaborate in ways never before imagined. By weaving together such a unique blend of actors, Mpedigree is helping open news thinking around ways in which our social problems can be solved.

mPedigree is empowering people to be custodians of their own consumption and doing so in partnership with multiple stakeholders including consumers (including farmers, industry (agro-dealers, distributors, government)

From last-mile farmer quality verifications, theft and diversion prevention through Track & Trace, seamless data sharing and insights generation on markets, channel enabling between different agricultural stakeholders, and regulatory empowerment through advanced monitoring and analytics tools, mPedigree has built a platform of platforms that in realtime empowers ecosystem players to at first-hand police entire markets to enhance food production and sustainability even in the remotest parts of Tanzania.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

Attachments (1)

e-comesa-newsletter_mpedigree_launch.pdf

COMESA newsletter announcing partnership with mPedigree (in 2019) for deployment of traceability and e-certification across the 21 country COMESA states in Africa.

3 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Archiebold Manasseh
Team

a very good project! all best...

View all comments