In the Philippines, fast reporting and connecting to farmers was a challenge during COVID. Borders were closed, provinces were locked down and farmers could not access classes for training. However, these disruptive forces were not a deterrent, but served as a bigger reason for the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) to deploy their smallholder farmer digital strategy in a timely manner.
Their 100 Farmer collaboration is with Chektec, an award-winning software service for checks, inspections and tracking goods, crops and workforce action data for sustainability and traceability. This includes safety, health and environment best practices. Chektec’s flexible and customized mobile form checks app synchronizes a company’s current operations and generates reports for various types of data for collection, connection and analysis.
Introducing best farming practices via mobile technology has been ongoing for some time. Although, Chektec’s unique value is fast reporting data, monitoring, tracking and tracing the progress of farmer agri-programs, delivering and implementing a system of sustainable farm methods with PSFI and supporting the farmer’s successful integration and contribution into PSFI’s valuable supply chain.
On the same platform, farmers conveniently access PSFI’s own library of curated, quality education, training and up-skilling content, without switching to other applications. Trusted information goes a long way for farmers, which is why the farmers’ interest in education has enabled faster uptake amongst their network. The content is also delivered efficiently and quickly updated, preventing time wastage, such as physically attending or traveling to classes or meetings.
PSFI Enhancing Resources
For PSFI, the benefits were ease-of-use, fast integration with farmers (introducing some farmers to apps for farming for the first time) and enhanced features in data gathering, especially in mobile data or wi-fi challenged areas for measuring and assessing to improve sustainability and traceability practices. Savings in costs of approximately 50%, and more than double time savings were achieved. Including the benefit of re-allocation of resources, such as freeing up vehicle and transportation, to be shared efficiently within the teams.
PSFI’s smallholder farmers digital inclusion program has an eye on longevity; constantly evolving and improving farmer assessments at various levels of detail, supported by quality data. Farmers are trained for more sustainable practices and productive farm management which will enable them to focus on better, higher yields and build more resilience to food security risks, as PSFI expands its digital strategy to the next 100 farmers, 1000s and many more.