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Hot Dish + Farmer's Friend

Combating food waste by allowing anyone sell extra cooked food via an app and a mobile device that enables farmers boost harvest yields.

Photo of Kofi Obo Wood
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Lead Applicant Organization Name

Limitless Artificial Intelligence Ltd

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://www.limitlessai.org/

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

  • 1-3 years

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

Cape Coast

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Ghana

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

Central Region, a coastal region in Ghana, covers an area of 9,826 km²

What country is your selected Place located in?

Ghana

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I selected Central Region because it is where my hometown is, and the capital city Cape Coast is where I was born.

Central Region also boasts of major farming plantations such as palm oil, cocoa, oranges, plantain, cassava, and maize. The towns and cities along the coast are also some of the major suppliers of fish to the rest of the nation. I grew up in this region and I can envision a new food future where farmers farm more efficiently using dedicated mobile devices powered by artificial intelligence and cooked food is never wasted but sold via simple mobile app.

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.

Central Region is a really unique place filled with natural beauty and lots of tourist attractions of ecological and historical importance.

To the south of the region sits the sea, old castles, colonial era forts, fishing and farming communities and sandy beaches; and to the north lie deep green vegetation, satellite towns and farm villages.

When you close your eyes and breathe in the south, you smell the fresh salty breeze from the coast; and as you move inland, you hear the rustling of the leaves of the forest in the wind.

People in Central Region speak “fanti” but pride themselves with having a good command of English language; the citizens of the regional Capital are usually known to be well educatedincidentally, most of the premier schools in Ghana are located in the Central Region.

When it comes to food, the people of Central Region are known for their preference for rich tasting food and tantalizing combinations; the major ethic group the “Fantis” are traditionally known to enjoy sweet meals, and throughout Ghana, being a “Fanti” is synonymous to having a preference for good food.

The people of Central Region do enjoy their local dishes of “etsew” and fish stew as well as fufu and “nkarkra”; rice dishes like “jollof”, fried chicken with hot black pepper sauce and a mixture of sliced vegetables is also the delight many Central Region indigenes.

Central region enjoys plenty of sunshine and heavy rains during the main rainy season between June and September.

Fishermen and farmers make up most of the informal work sector of Central Region with teaching and clerical jobs being substantial in the formal sector.

Backyard farms where where people mostly grow plantain, tomato, cassava and pepper are extensive in most homes in Central region.

Fishermen and women who smoke and sell fish play a crucial role in the Region’s economy as Central region is one of the nation’s biggest suppliers of fish and most coastal homes consume an average of two fish-based dishes in a week.

Central Region has one of the lowest levels of malnourishment in children in Ghana due to the greater access to protein.

The hopes of the people of Central Region is to attain greater economic advancement, increase tourists attraction and preserve their natural resources. 

Central Region is one of the least prosperous regions in Ghana and the hopes of the people of Central Region is also to have a more industrialized and technologically based work sector that will create more jobs for the youth and empower the people financially.

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

9826

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

2700000

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

Current challenges faced by Hot Dish + Farmer’s Friend in 2020 

Farmers are over farming the land and not applying sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices and this has led to continued dwindling harvest yields in certain farm areas in Central Region. When it comes to fishing the fishermen also over fish and although there are a number government policies to combat this, a lot of bad fishing practices still persist; there are still those who defy the regulations and indulge in acts that has reduced the fish stocks of the region.

When it comes to food, a lot of food is wasted by families when it could have been shared or sold to other individuals. People are, however, uncomfortable with taking food from strangers and so people would rather discard food than share.

People in Central Region for the most part enjoy a well-balanced diet with carbohydrates, proteins, green vegetables and vegetable oil. But in a few areas in the hinterland where economic activity is low and viable farm lands are limited, the people, especially, the children lack access to diet with sufficient protein.

Most farmers, fishermen and more than half of the people in informal work sector in the Central Region are either low income households or lower-middle income households; for most of these, access to technology or smartphones is currently quite limited.

While there is still that strong family bond in the culture of the people of Central Region; and people still relate well with those in the village or community, people do not easily share with those outside their immediate family.


Future challenges to be faced by Hot Dish + Farmer’s Friend in 2050

By 20250, the way farming and fishing is done will be highly dependent on science and technology and the dwindling  access to fertile land will lead to the use of genetically modified crops and even the consumption of lab grown animal and non-animal foods. The biggest challenge in this will be the full adaptation by the people of Central region who are known to rely on organic food sources.

The people of Central Region by 2050 may be faced with a new diet structure than what they know now in 2020 as a people due to climate change.

However the economy in 2050 will be greatly determined by the innovations of science and technology solutions and without the fast adoption of these innovative solutions across the food chain; we will see a negative impact on economic growth.

2050 will see more policies that may back sustainable but costly farming practices and this will mean that farmers and fishermen who fail to adapt such practices will encounter real obstacles.

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

Hot Dish + Farmer’s Friend is a two part solution which seeks to address the previously stated challenges as follows:


Hot Dish is a technological solution in the form of a mobile app which provides an eBay like platform that will allow anyone with an extra plate of cooked food for one (1) person or more to simply advertise quickly & sell to every other Hot Dish user in a 2km range  at a cost below what a restaurant or eatery may charge. 

Hot Dish is like the AirBnB & Yik Yak of cooked food. So instead of cooked food going to waste, it can rather earn an extra income for the seller and provide dietary nourishment for the buyer. 

Hot Dish by way of reducing food waste is a benefit towards the environment and contributes towards environmental sustainability as a whole; Hot Dish takes advantage of the upcoming advances in mobile technology as well as the wide-spread use of smart phones projected for 2050. 

Users of Hot Dish will also be guided to know the diet composition of food they purchase on the platform and to address the cultural challenges, Hot Dish has a 2 km range therefore users may only see the sale of extra plates of food from people they may already be within the same neighborhood with and as such, their trust and safety will be better assured.


“Farmer’s Friend” is a dedicated mobile device designed with affordable hardware pieces, a custom proprietary operating system (OS) and housing an Agritech AI system named “Omni AI”, which seeks to improve farming efficiency & enables higher crop yields by use of historical data sets (weather patterns, soil maps, pest & disease outbreaks, harvest trends, market price trends, etc.), realtime data and user geographical location along with various machine learning algorithms & predictive analysis models to provide the user (primarily a farmer) with daily realtime agricultural guidance on all crop farming activities from pre-planting to post-harvesting including but not limited to:

•             the best crop to plant per location,

•             the best crop farming practices to undertake,

•             expected rainfall pattern, early pest and diseases detection and

•             market prices after harvesting.

“Farmer’s Friend” addresses the problem of “inefficient and unsustainable crop management & processing practices by farmers” due to limited knowledge and Climate Change effects which results in low yields, poor agriculture economic output & an increased threat to world food security.

In the face of rising temperatures, higher rainfalls, droughts, loss of viable lands, increasing populations; the FAO predicts that up to 25% of global food production could be lost by 2050 due to the combined impact of climate change.

“Farmer’s Friend” seeks to address that by providing farmers with access to insights, guidance on good practices & climate-smart information critical to farming success.

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.

The people of Central Region using Hot Dish and Farmer’s Friend will result in an economically thriving, environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced culture where:

Farmers with access to “Farmer’s Friend” mobile devices are engaged in precision farming at all levels. Farmers now know the best crops to plant based on their location, the best crop farming practices to undertake, the expected rainfall pattern, market prices after harvesting; farmers now have the ability to detect pest and diseases early and farming is no longer blind.

Farmers are more efficient with higher harvest yields and higher economic gains from their farming. The Local economies across Central Region is thriving and the effect of climate change has been mitigated though the use of this technology.

People in their homes are making a steady income from all the revenue they gain by selling an extra plate of food on Hot Dish; food no longer goes to waste easily and people are informed and guided to healthier diet choices by the app as they purchase plates of food. More and more people are guided to have backyard farms where they utilize the best practices to harvest ingredients for their dishes. The eating of food cooked by others has fostered a culture of trust and community in the towns and villages all over.

There is now a conscious effort to maximize all cooked foods in a sustainable manner.

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

Hot Dish + Farmer’s Friend and how it addresses a regenerative and nourishing food future for the people of Central region, Ghana in 2050:

Under Environment:

It is 2050 and our environment still faces the threat of degradation, unsustainable practices and climate change effect.

Harmful farming practices which damage the ecosystem and pollution via food waste are some of the biggest contributors to this trend.

But with the use of technology such as machine learning guided farming and a mobile app platform that seeks to reduce food waste, the environment now stands to benefit positively.

Farmers are now being guided towards sustainable practices, where they do not need to rely on toxic chemicals to increase their harvest yields because of the guidance they receive through “Farmer’s Friend”.

And now in communities, food is not wasted in ways that contribute to pollution but eaten completely via food sharing through “Hot Dish”.


Under Diets:

Farmers are guided by real data feedback on the dietary needs of the people in Central Region and through “Farmer’s Friend” are also guided as to the best crops to plant to provide the food the people need.

On Hot Dish, users of the app are guided to give details of the nutritional make-up of the food they put on sale and with this, the people of Central Region are guided in their purchase of food that suits their dietary needs.


Under Economics:

Farmers in Central Region are not farming blind anymore with use of “Farmer’s Friend”, they are guided to know the right inputs and the best practices that maximizes their farm inputs, land size and location, leading to higher harvest yield. This higher harvest yield results in more revenue for the farmer and more food available on the market. The people of Central Region who are using Hot Dish now have more food ingredients to prepare different meals and provide different meal options on sale. They end up making more sales and benefit economically too.


Under Culture:

Farmers in Central Region who use “Farmer’s Friend” have shifted from their inefficient and unsustainable farming cultural practices to a technologically based, data-driven precision farming. They are now seeing more and more positive results as they use technology through “Farmer’s Friend” to guide their farming activities. There is now a strong shift to the use of technology in every cultural farming practice.

There is also now a strong culture against wasting food and the attendant pollution associated with it; people no longer cook more food than is needed and waste it. Extra food at home is put on sale via Hot Dish. There is now more trust and a sense of family among communities in the Central Region through the sale of home cooked meals on the Hot Dish mobile app.


Under Technology:

There is now a wide scale adoption of technology everywhere among the people of Central Region especially across the agri-value food chain.

The agricultural success of artificial intelligence in helping farmers attain efficiency and higher yields and the economic success in leveraging smartphone technology and software by Hot Dish to allow people avoid food waste and attain steady side income has become the ultimate motivator for everyone in Central Region to utilize technology to maximize their output in the agri-value food chain.

We now live in a world where many things are connected via technology.


Under Policy:

The successive adoption of Hot Dish + “Farmer’s Friend” and the measurable and impactful benefits among the people of Central Region has incensed the Government of Ghana to create a new set of policies that is pushing the nation-wide adoption of Hot Dish + “Farmer’s Friend”. There is also a new conscience/innovation/awareness/thinking behind policy creation and it is one that seeks to encourage the use of technology by farmers and indeed by all people involved in the Ghana’s food ecosystem.

Now farmers who are utilizing “Farmer’s Friend” are enjoying tax cuts, the government is awarding agricultural subsidies to farmers using “Farmer’s Friend” in sustainable ways.

There is also a tax free policy on all income earned through sale of food on Hot Dish. The government seeks to continue this drive of sustainability and this new culture of conservation by Hot Dish + “Farmer’s Friend” through it policies.

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Thank you so much for the Food Extension Initiative.

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