is to evolve an institutional framework for the promotion of wealth creation among smallholder farmers by promoting excellence through knowledge in value addition and investment
Our Goal is to promote efficiency in service delivery to communities by infusing knowledge and technology thinking to what has evaded development efforts in Africa
Our Objectives: To provide a single point of contact for:
Convergence of national resource mobilization and development focus by promoting internal wealth assessment in a community and challenging the status-quo
Promotion of Agribusiness initiatives in sourcing inputs and market linkages for wealth creation and sustainable livelihoods
Convergence of telecommunication services presence in rural areas by bringing the producer cooperatives/common interest groups, service providers, smallholder agricultural communities, and the government to a point of convergence to exploit opportunities in the agricultural value chain
Linkage of ICT services through telecentres or community business solution centers with the e-inclusion initiatives to promote ICT as the driving force behind a revamped Africa through the government supported universal internet access
Access to business mentoring and support services to empowered youths is promoted
Provision of rural financial services to support government initiatives in affordable credit for agribusiness promotion
To create an institutional framework to support the ever elusive target of creating agricultural micro-finance, micro-insurance and other community health insurance services
Providing an avenue for e-government where government reform efforts are promoted through electronic registration of births and deaths, business licenses on registration, voter registration, and other services that require government form-filling are offered from
Integrating Research to VACID’s Work
We are involved with promoting integration of research into community organizations by integrating agronomic, nutrition, processing and utilization of selected crops. The crops are identified through PRA approaches with grassroots stakeholders and implementation partners; followed by processing of the crops to reduce post-harvest losses thereby promoting storage and marketability of the crops. The documentation of each activity and creation of local trainers through a researched programme of Training of Trainers (ToT) and HIV and AIDS caregivers among women and youth forms the basis of the programmes sustainability.
The documented outcomes and information are presented through localized training for now but are envisaged to be delivered through the internet for local browsing on either online or offline basis through solar powered computers at the different community institutions which embrce the telecentre model. Business and nutrition advisory services are programmed to be provided at Nakaseke Teachers Training College in Uganda where learning on nutrition and care-giving is the principal focus and in Migori, Butere, Mumias, and Suba in Kenya, where intensification of production is the focus with a view to using agriculture to fight hunger and create wealth. In due course community telecentres will be established at appropriately selected community institutions to become vehicles of promoting the attainment of the MDGs.
The telecentre is designed to provide a place where training in ICT, and nutritional composition - of local crops and diets - in the selected locality, is conducted. This renders possibility to the creation of an SME advisory and service intermediation unit, an e-Learning and e-commerce services unit, an e-Government and data communication services unit, a Care-giving and traditional nutrition services unit. The realization of such a cause is achieved by the convergence of a sustainable community business management, research, and content provision services unit otherwise called the telecentre.
The critical success of the implementation of these activities lies in the establishment of knowledge-based teams created from a host of knowledge institutions that are partnering in this implementation under the aegis of CIAT-TSBF which drives the research and where VACID Africa drives the digital and community interaction infrastructure. VACID Africa also sources for local champions of whatever community initiates are considered as potential opportunities for commercial exploitation.
How the Model Was Mooted
(Octagon e-Agriculture Model as used to capture information at farm/field level)
VACID Africa is the outcome of two complementary initiatives – an e-Agriculture solution developed by Octagon Data Systems that promotes offline digital weighing of farmer production and a sustainability focus of a post harvest management programme that was implemented by WillPower Enterprise Development Limited and UNIDO partnership for The Government of Kenya. To ensure sustainability of the government programme and create a win-win benefit of the farmers and our technology enterprise, Octagon, WillPower registered VACID Africa in Kenya, as an international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) focused in providing the necessary institutional framework to promote continuous innovation and market orientation to community initiatives that focus on agricultural income generation.
(Octagon e-Agriculture Model as used to capture information at farm/field level)
VACID Africa is the outcome of two complementary initiatives – an e-Agriculture solution developed by Octagon Data Systems that promotes offline digital weighing of farmer production and a sustainability focus of a post harvest management programme that was implemented by WillPower Enterprise Development Limited and UNIDO partnership for The Government of Kenya. To ensure sustainability of the government programme and create a win-win benefit of the farmers and our technology enterprise, Octagon, WillPower registered VACID Africa in Kenya, as an international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) focused in providing the necessary institutional framework to promote continuous innovation and market orientation to community initiatives that focus on agricultural income generation. The post-harvest project lasted two years and initiated value addition initiative to empower women and youth to create agriprocessing enterprises. The key focus of the programme was to create localized support through a Trainers of Trainers programme then followed by centralized branding of processed agricultural produce, that was further linked to the market through digital approaches initiated by WillPower. CIDA came on board, towards the end of the project term, through its Gender Equity Support Programme (GESP) to infuse gender orientation to the programme.
Octagon’s e-Agriculture solution relies on an electronic scale which is loaded with farmer details. Farmers are organized on the basis of a produce collection route, or by the produce collection centre, from where the farmer-organization’s vehicle collects their produce and their details captured into the scale at the farmer organization’s offices. The produce is then collected by a clerk/driver using the accurate, tamper-proof electronic scale which captures the produce-weight, time of weighment, which is populated against the weighing farmer. The output is later downloaded into a computer installed with custom e-management software designed by Octagon for the client organization (In the case of plantations, the weighment is populated against a given plantation worker). The scale is similarly driven by a client-farmer-organization specific firmware which is designed for a client based on their unique operational model. The farmer organization normally invests in the computers and the scales. The computers is what in our first client site was used as telecentre support equipment during the times when the scales are not downloading data into the organizational systems that form the e-agriculture suite. This created an opportunity for the farmer organization to use the computers for income generation with the data server being reserved for organizational use.
Data so captured is used to drive the organizational information systems monitoring produce collection from farmers, inputs taken by a farmer from the organizational stores, services received from extension service providers and payment of monies generated from payment from the processors or the marketplace which then is a key driver to microfinance. The VACID Africa operational model presents opportunity to create consumer organizations that enable interaction between producers and consumers around the processed output. It may happen that the consumers and producers are the same through their own shopping outlets/stores.
While this initiative started as a commercial product of Octagon Data Systems weighing tea for large agricultural plantations, it has become VACID Africa’s e-inclusion perspective where smallholder agricultural farmers are organized by VACID Africa or by marketing infrastructure need to form producer cooperatives, or relevant common interest groups to help them market and source inputs for such value chains as in dairy, soybeans and indeed any other agricultural produce where farmers can come together to interact with the market.