Create smallholder famer data sharing platform using image analytics and digital tokens.

Oil palm cultivation has become important to rural livelihoods in Indonesia, with about 40% of the total oil palm area in the country owned / managed by smallholder farmers (“smallholders”). Digitisation has the potential to revolutionise the way 100 million smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia manage their plots and crops. As the palm oil ecosystem transitions to a more sustainable value chain, it is critical that smalldolers become key players in the process.

The Grow Asia Hackathon 2018 (20-21 April) aims to uncover data-enabled solutions that give smallholders better access to information, credit, and services that will help improve their livelihood, and drive sustainable outcomes. We aim to address gaps in data, reduce information asymmetry, and demonstrate how using datasharing can be done at scale. There are 4 challenge topics:


  1. Data sharing: Many companies are addressing the issue of “traceability” - collecting, recording and analysing data on the plantations, farmers, and middlemen.
    How might we design a data application or platform and appropriate business models for the mutual benefit of the ecosystem actors and smallholders?

  2. Productivity: Low productivity is a key factor leading to smallholders growing larger areas of under-productive oil palm rather than intensifying production. The single most essential activity to increase smallholder productivity and efficiency is technical training and assistance.
    How might we provide the right information and training to smallholders, improving productivity and aiding in sustainable intensification of plantations?

  3. Financing: Smallholders are often too small for commercial banks and too large for micro-finance schemes. They do not have credit history and cannot supply reliable management information to access finance. Their only option is to access informal credit, which comes with high interest terms and short tenure.
    How might we devise a new credit scoring mechanism for financial institutions to extend credit, and allow for incorporation sustainable practices along with this finance?

  4. Logistics: Smallholders who do not have their own means of transport rely on local traders or the closest mill and are subject to unforeseen weather conditions.
    How might we improve the timeliness of information and coordination of transportation options, so smallholders can make informed decisions?


Smallholder Farmers are suffering from a self-perpetuating cycle of lack of financing, underinvestment, low yields, and low income. To solve this, our team proposed “Crowdsourcing” platform to incentivise agricultural data collection by smallholder farmers. Based on data collected, the platform could offer subscription based “agricultural monitoring and forecasting” service using our analytics engine for FMCG, Financial Institutions, and Agricultural Input service providers.

Using decentralized data exchange technology such as Ocean Protocol, smallholder farmers data could be made commercially available to 3rd party - Both subscription and commercial payment would be used to sustain incentives given to the farmers.

Using insight derived from “agricultural monitoring and forecasting” AI engine, the platform could potentially match agricultural inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and supply chain service providers (traders, mills, etc) with farmers as a market-making platform.

Idea: SAWIT - Sustainable Agriculture With IT

Value Propositions

As the “largest below-the-canopy crowdsources agricultural image platform” we will provide insight and information to sustainably help our customers innovate and improve our smallholder farmers livelihood

How it works

  • Our target users will be smallholder farmers. Using proposed mobile app, smallholder farmers will capture and upload photos in our cloud database in exchange of reward points / monetary payments. They may get additional rewards from performing sponsored crowdsourcing assignments (fill survey, find and upload specific photos, read articles, attend training etc.). The reward points can be used to purchase agricultural inputs (fertilizer, pesticide, seedlings, etc.) and other sponsored rewards. They may receive relevant notification and advise from our analytics engine that could improve their farm’s yield and productivity, as well as minimize waste.
  • Our target customers are FMCG, Financial Institutions, and Agricultural Input providers who will benefit from propretiary insights from subscribing to analytics report generated by our platforms.

Reference: Growasia