Malawi is a small landlocked country in Africa with an economy driven predominantly by the agricultural sector, which accounts for one third of the GDP and nearly 80% of employment. Agriculture is considered the engine of Malawi’s economic growth and is dominated by maize and tobacco, followed by other food and cash crops such as cassava, sweet potatoes, sorghum, tea, sugarcane, cotton, and coffee.
Though agricultural productivity in Malawi has increased over time, limited access to improved crop varieties and fertilizer, lack of best management practices, and poorly functioning markets have resulted in low crop yield, high sales costs (due to limited storage and poor road infrastructure), and inadequate processing capacity. At times, the fragile agricultural value chain and non-existence of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) system have triggered rampant malpractices in the government-sponsored welfare schemes, such as, agri-input distribution to the farmers.
RMSI, a global geospatial and engineering solution provider, developed an effective and innovative technological intervention in the form of an inclusive ICT-based Value Chain Governance (IVCG) platform for Malawi, to streamline the fragmented agricultural value chain and reduce the risks to small-holder farmers.
The digital agriculture market platform helped connect the agricultural value chain players (farmers, financiers, warehouse owners, agro-dealers, agro-input suppliers, financial institutions, off-takers, etc.) on one platform. Some of the key components of the workflow were:
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