SIKIA are actionable information services to increase smallholder rice farmer’s yield, income, and enabling better connectivity in the rice value chain
SIKIA is aimed at 125,000 smallholder rice farmers within the SAGCOT area of Tanzania. These farmers typically have land holdings between 0.5 to 2 ha and cultivate rice twice per year. Farmers expressed needs in better information on weather condition, crop management (advices) and market information and financial security.
The SIKIA-project will develop three information services. Information service 1 provides weekly weather forecasts for the rice sector through radio broadcasts that cover the rice cultivating areas in SAGCOT, with the opportunity for smallholder rice farmers to receive growth stage-specific weather forecasts via SMS. For receiving regular weather related crop advices, smallholder rice farmers need to register themselves. The collected registration data is used as input for information service 2, which allows agri-businesses to periodically receive aggregated geo-information about the actual rice cultivation in the rice value chain in SAGCOT to improve their logistic planning, planning of milling capacity, product promotion, and finance or insurance schemes. Service 3 aims to provide smallholder rice farmers in the Mbeya region with advice based on the measured crop conditions of their specific plots.The information services use satellite geodata (e.g., environmental, crop status via SAR, and plot boundaries information), augmented by more detailed data acquisition under the clouds (multispectral agronomic information) and web-based information. Through a train-the-trainers program farmers will be trained to take action on basis of the received information.
In order to make the information services financially sustainable, agri-businesses play a crucial role as paying customers. Based on collected (geo)data for the information services as well as farmer registration data, agri-businesses have the opportunity to directly connect to smallholder rice farmers to offtake rice/paddy or to offer specific products or services. Agri-businesses will pay annual fees and fees per ha covered. In order to guarantee affordability for smallholder farmers, the partnership intends to provide the information services free of charge to farmers (except SMS cost price), allowing for low entrance into registration while increasing the commercial potential for subscribed agri-businesses.
The SIKIA project is being implemented by a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the rice value chain in Tanzania, consisting of five partners that complement each other’s skills and interests:
|Country||United Republic of Tanzania|
|Services||Crop management adviceWeather informationCrop yield information|
|Target groups||Farmer (smallholders)Agri-business|