Digital Agriculture Reference Bureau (DARB)

The Digital Agriculture Reference Bureau (DARB) is an ICT powered platform (system) that brings together isolated production activities of smallholder farmers and businesses of agro dealers to a common place where services of larger enterprises such as banks, insurance firms, and the government can be channeled to support the improvement of agricultural production as well as agribusiness.

At aXiom Zorn we have put our efforts in exploiting the potential of information and technology since it supports better crop, fertilizer, pesticide selection; the management of agricultural resources soil and water; and allows incorporating other factors that contribute to the development of the value chains including markets, weather information, and services such as finance and insurance.

DARB anchors a series of information mapped together ranging from farmer profiles, agro dealer profiles, value chains, region/point location, production and its extent, market and assorted weather information that have been processed in real time and harmonized to provide reference for the following:
→ Credit reference through its Progress out of poverty (POP) credit assessment system.
→ Market reference for agro-inputs and agro-produce i.e. from its aggregate data on input demand and produce supply.
→ Project implementation reference grounded on our dynamic baseline offering from the bureau data and reports.
→ Insurance reference based on the data and surveillance that not only provides information on the potential risks but also claims assessment for compensation.
→ Extension and advisory reference based on data reflecting possible factors contributing to low productivity, soil map data, weather data from the satellite service providers.
→ Certification reference for the farmers and agents.

The information off the platform is generated from aggregation of field data and data from external sources coupled with in-depth analysis that is essential for driving agribusiness. Information for agro input and agro-produce dealers is obtained from preseason, on season and postharvest data collected by agents and drone aided real-time surveillance.

How DARB works.
We have a growing database of over 385,000 farmers and 2,700 agro-SMEs. Our priority is to ensure that this database provides information that offers reliable responses to the current information needs of the most essential agriculture sector players. The current partnerships with the financial service providers subscribe for use of the database as updates are made available by our team of agents. The updated data is processed and made to meet the different use cases of the partners such the credit worthiness of given farming cluster thus financial service providers to extend their services to the farmers and the resources obtained from the such partnerships is reinvested to grow the data. The insurers can know how many farmers are up for insurance over a known size of land. Project implementers can choose farmers and value chain of their choice. Farmers and agro SMEs also subscribe to the service by dialing our USSD code which prompts them to add primary information that is used by aXiom Zorn whose agents are notified so they may come in to complete a profiling activity. The parties are thereafter kept up to date through messages in line with their need and via our web application particularly to parties whose operations involve the use computers and internet connections.

The DARB is then availed to support the provision of following services, broadly categorized under registration, finance, production, trade and markets:
→ Profiling farmers and updating their information with the support of an agent network.
→ Profiles appraisal and offers credit reference for financial inclusion using the POP credit score (system interface).
→ Process Insurance appraisal for crop insurance against weather and other unmanageable agricultural risks.
→ Market reference, i.e. supports the clustering of agro-input need, equipment needs and produce clustering for aggregate demand and supply that eases market access and support farmers in getting the best prices for their commodities and costs for certified agro-inputs. Through our information services, we shall extend market information.
→ Reference to support Information services including extension and advisory Via, SMS, IVR, and last-mile agent network.
→ Reference support farming Knowledge management and Post-harvest handling as per the market requirement.
→ Use the information to lobby for certification of the players, including the farmers and the agro-input dealers.

How it benefits the parties involved.
A number of stakeholders benefit from the DARB and these include:
→ Financial service providers looking out for clients (farmers) to provide low interest loans.
→ Insurance service providers to provide agriculture insurance policy to farmers.
→ Agro – Input dealers in need of market for their agro products; seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides among others.
→ Agro produce market players in need of voluminous produce (specific crops) from farmers.
→ Farmers in need of visibility on what they produce and the kind of services limiting their productivity. Farmers also benefit from assorted satellite weather information provided through our service center.
→ Project implementers in need of community information relating to agriculture thus saving them baseline studies and hence allowing easy entry into project implementation.

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