Dimitra Incorporated, a leading blockchain-based enterprise system for AgTech driving productive, intelligent, and inclusive farming, announces the launch of the Connected Cacao App. The application improves agricultural efficiency, ensures transparency in the supply chain, and helps strengthen cacao cooperatives.
The Connected Cacao platform represents a revolution in cacao farming. It offers a significant increase in efficiency for agriculture operations. The application allows farmers to optimize each stage of the process, from cultivation, harvesting, fermentation, drying, storage, and marketing, reducing resource waste and increasing productivity.
Furthermore, the application offers complete transparency across the entire supply chain. Farmers can generate a traceable label through the application, allowing cooperatives and producers to tell the whole story behind cacao. This is important as today, more than ever, buyers want transparency with the products they are purchasing.
Also, as far as the farmer is concerned, prices constantly fluctuate. This has a significant impact on them as they can’t store the cacao for long periods and often need to sell it right away and cheaper than they expected to.
By using the Connected Cacao platform, farmers can make sure they have more produce, higher quality, and more market access. In summary, offering traceability is helping the product enter the most demanding markets while adding value to the product.
With digitized information, cooperatives have an accurate view of the entire process. This allows a more precise diagnosis of the situation for each region and producer, helping the overall decision-making process.
One of the most notable effects of this technology is the reduction of disparities in profitability between producers. Connected Cacao aims to create a more equitable environment where all farmers have the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their size or starting resources.
Another challenge farmers face that the application considers is compliance with the new European standards regarding zero deforestation. In 2022, 141 countries signed a pact to eradicate deforestation by 2030. As one of the first to take serious action, the EU is implementing a law that effectively bans products originating from major crops linked to deforestation. Cocoa, which is the processed version of cacao, is one of the seven core commodities that must guarantee origin on a property that has not been deforested since December 2020.
What does this look like for farmers? Well, they must practice farming in more environmentally responsible ways. There’s no longer room for farms of any size to continue deforestation if they want to remain legally operational.
In addition to the functionalities the Connected Cacao application offers farmers, they will also have access to Dimitra’s Deforestation Compliance Module. When farmers sell their products to agriculture companies, they can use Dimitra’s platform to mark the geo-location of the origin farm at the time of harvest. This action will automatically produce a deforestation map to certify there is no deforestation before the shipments are prepared.
Several organizations are already in the training phase and utilizing the Connected Cacao application as a tool. One of those organizations is REDMUCH, an organization in Honduras that, when translated to English, means “Network of Cocoa Woman Farmer and Chocolatiers of Honduras.” The organization currently consists of around 350 farmers, with the majority of them being female. As a whole, they work together to empower and support women in the agriculture industry.
The challenges the REDMUCH farmers face in the cocoa sector currently surround increasing productivity and international sales. An additional challenge includes the certification of organic and fair trade.
Dimitra is working with them to tackle these industry challenges with the help of its Connected Cacao platform.
The Connected Cacao app offers a more efficient, transparent, and sustainable approach to the cacao industry. This app is essential to a fairer and more environmentally conscious industry by optimizing farming operations, promoting cooperation, and empowering producers.
Dimitra UNJA – Dimitra Incorporated, a global Agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is collaborating with the University of JAMBI (UNJA). UNJA is a public university located in Jambi City, Jambi, Indonesia. Together with the district government, they have built a traceability-based beef cattle development initiative with the community of oil palm farmers by utilizing blockchain.
Consequently, the rejuvenation of palm oil plantations forces farmers to wait up to 2–3 years for their plantations to become productive again. For smallholder farmers, this means no income during the waiting time. Whereas farmers who own an average of 2 hectares of oil palm plantations can usually earn as little as 3 million rupiah (US$200) per week.
Dimitra’s Indonesia Sales Partner, Ricky Tanudibrata, recalls, “Jayus and Trimanto, two village heads in the oil palm plantation area, have encouraged their villagers to diversify their livelihoods by raising cattle. It becomes an additional source of income apart from the oil palm sector. To maximize their hopes as a beef cattle-producing village, the oil palm growers are fully aware that they need training to build capacity and skills in raising cattle. Jayus and Trimanto understand that raising cattle traditionally will not make much difference.”
Dimitra and UNJA combine their wealth of knowledge and expertise in community cattle farming. Together they are conducting an intensive training program to help farmers increase yield, reduce expenses, and mitigate risk. The program will be curated specifically for cattle farms that are integrated with oil palm plantations. Firstly, Dimitra will be supplying the technology. Secondly, UNJA will be conducting the local operation and research. They will work with two villages in Tanjung Jabung Barat regency, namely Purwodadi and Sungai Muluk villages.
Equally important, by using blockchain traceability technology. Every stage in the beef cattle supply chain can be recorded accurately and transparently. The data generated through this platform can provide the following detailed information:
Futhermore, with this information at hand, consumers have greater visibility about the products they are buying, including:
In addition, blockchain traceability technology also allows for faster and more efficient tracking of problems or unexpected events. Events such as disease outbreaks or food safety cases. What’s more, data recorded in real-time through this platform allows a fast and precise response. This minimizes the negative impacts that may occur in the beef cattle supply chain. Not only will working towards sustainable data-based cattle farming improve the welfare of oil palm smallholders, but it is also positive for the environment.
The role of utilizing blockchain-based traceability technology will be focused on the following:
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Indonesia’s need for beef in 2022 is 736,000 tons (estimated to be more). Domestic beef production in 2022 is 450,000 tonnes. This means that domestic beef production can only meet around 60% of the total beef demand in Indonesia.
It is estimated that by 2050 in order to feed the world, raising food production by 70% will be the only way to keep up. In addition, Indonesia still imports 40% of its meat (beef and buffalo). Repairing and increasing the people’s cattle supply is something that needs to be done. For the time being, the collaboration between Dimitra and the University of JAMBI is focused on just that, enhancing the cattle industry in Indonesia and supporting diversified farming.
The University of JAMBI’s Deputy Rector and Professor, Rayandra Arsyad, says, “Through the collaboration between the Jambi University and Dimitra Inc, I hope that we can realize the integration of cattle farming with oil palm plantations based on information technology. The opportunity is real. We must be able to materialize it in an effort to improve the quality of life and welfare of smallholder cattle breeders in Jambi province.”
Dimitra AI-ASA – Dimitra Incorporated, a global Agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is teaming up with the AI-ASA Project. The AI-ASA Project is one of the agricultural and animal development projects established by Libya’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The project consists of 520 farms, each with approximately 10 hectares of land and multiple crops.
Dimitra and the AI-ASA Project are working to increase farmers’ yields and profits, reduce costs, and mitigate risks. As part of this plan, they intend to reduce the use of water and fertilizers needed to produce the following crops grown by the farmers in the AI-ASA Project.
Farmers growing these trees, specifically olive and palm trees, often face challenges surrounding pests and seasonal diseases. By using the Connected Farmer App, farmers have access to satellite technology as well as Dimitra’s pest and disease management solution to help combat these challenges.
Dimitra’s satellite imagery and remote sensing tools allow farmers to gather valuable information about their farms and make informed decisions about irrigation, fertilizers, and other farming operations.
Dimitra’s Connected Farmer Platform provides detailed insights with its impressive tech stack, utilizing artificial intelligence, sensors, and satellite imagery. For example, it can analyze soil pH levels and identify pests and diseases affecting the crops. This information enables farmers to take appropriate actions in a timely manner. For example, adjusting irrigation schedules, applying fertilizers when needed, or implementing pest control measures.
The Dimitra platform enables farmers to access soil reports, monitor crop health easily, and receive real-time recommendations based on data analysis. This allows them to make data-driven decisions, optimize resource usage, and improve their farming practices.
Farmers can use Dimitra’s application on their mobile phones and take photographs of their crops. The application will detect and identify the crop health stage, including various forms of analysis for pest management, disease management, and more.
By utilizing these technologies and tools, farmers reduce unnecessary resources, such as water and fertilizers, leading to cost savings and more sustainable farming practices. Detecting pests and diseases early on can help prevent or minimize crop losses. As a result, this leads to increased yields and improved overall productivity. To illustrate, the system uses data collected from AI, weather, pH levels, time since fertilization, and soil conductivity measurements to predict how much nitrogen the soil has. It can also indicate how much there will be in the next few weeks.
The ultimate goal is to allow farmers to reduce their fertilizer use while yielding the maximum amount of crops. For instance, some plants, like wheat, are more fertilizer-thirsty. Farmers can cater specifically to each crop’s needs while not over or under-fertilizing. This helps ensure that the farm is well fertilized with the right fertilizer so that the crop can grow well, resulting in a higher yield for farmers, with less input and lower costs.
Initially, the AI-ASA Project is giving 120 of their farmers access to Dimitra’s cutting-edge technologies. MENA Regional Director Maged Elmontaser says, “Al-Asa Agriculture Project is considered one of the most important projects that maintains sustainability and food security for the country. Overall, Dimitra Connected Farmer Platform offers farmers a powerful set of tools to optimize their farming operations, make informed decisions, and enhance their productivity and sustainability.”
Mr. Naseer Ben Adala, Al-Asa Agriculture Project Coordinator and Manager, says, “We are thrilled to share this strategic partnership with Dimitra Technology. It aims to set foot on the path of digital transformation at the Ministry and enable Libyan farmers to access modern Ag-technologies.” – Dimitra AI-ASA
Dimitra PNG – Rumion Limited is a pig farming, feed crops and cattle grazing enterprise located in Papua New Guinea (PNG) with around 3,000 total acres of property and 500 acres of maize. Much like other farms in the area, Rumion Limited faces problems from pests.
The Fall Armyworm (FAW), in particular, presents unique challenges for maize farmers in the area. While they tend to be a manageable pest during the early growth stages, the larvae burrow into the whorl, a tightly wrapped and twisted group of corn leaves, as they mature — creating significant issues for pesticide distribution and effectiveness.
Rumion Limited understands the risks of FAW infestation all too well. Just a few years prior, these dangerous pests destroyed over 50% of their maize harvest.
Dimitra Incorporated is a global Agtech company focused on helping smallholder farmers, much like Rumion Limited, with technology-based solutions that leverage the latest advancements in mobile tech, machine learning, satellite and drone imagery, genomics and advanced farming research.
Alongside local and other technology partners, we worked closely with Rumion Limited to develop next-generation solutions to the FAW problem and methods that are easily adaptable for other farms.
The FAW is a moth pest noted for its taste for maize and its reputation for crop destruction. The term armyworm actually describes the large-scale infestation of crops, and for farmers across PNG, the FAW is a real nuisance — leading to reduced yields and other potential issues.
The FAW problem is not unique to PNG as it is causing damages in many regions around the world. For example, studies from Eastern Zimbabwe estimate the impact of FAW damage on maize yields at around 11.57%. Across PNG, the FAW finds the suitable tropical environment and fields of maize the perfect place to feast and grow.
Research shows that there is a limited window for effective FAW management.
Controlling FAWs at the sapling stage (10 to 15 days after seeding) is easy. But, after 35 days after seeding (DAS), the larvae enter the whorl of the crop, making it difficult to control as the larvae may not come in contact with the pesticide solution.
This presents a unique challenge for farmers. If FAW is not controlled at an early stage, they often lose the chance to manage the problem effectively.
Understanding when the right time to spray, and the right pesticides to use, means on-the-ground analysis of crops — a task often unavailable for either practical or financial restrictions.
Other issues arise from the practice of manual spraying. Not only does manual spraying pose significant poisoning risks for operators, but spraying tall corn stalks is fairly ineffective as it fails to meet the demands for quick control over the FAW.
In order to cover the large surface area of the plant, farmers need to spray multiple times. This can lead to a few problems:
The challenges presented by the FAW are not unique to PNG but rather a problem wherever the pest calls home. Finding effective solutions that reduce resource use and promote sustainable practices is essential not only for managing FAW infestations but also for supporting Dimitra’s mission of empowering smallholder farmers in the area and globally.
The economic threshold level (ETL) is the pest density at which farmers should consider management actions to prevent the population from reaching the economic injury level (EIL), the lowest population that will cause economic damage.
Unfortunately, not every farmer has access to the necessary tools to determine these essential levels of pest infestation — let alone the tools needed to control an infestation.
Dimitra, alongside tech partners like Mast Electrical and Telecommunication, UnCrewed Solutions and local partners Theodist, developed a FAW management system that leverages the power of drone and satellite imagery as well as comprehensive pest control software component that helps Rumion Limited better control and understand FAW infestations on their maize crops.
The innovative system works by pairing data coming from satellite imagery with local drone imagery to discover insights about infestation levels on crops. The imagery drones, in particular, easily assess FAW damage based on stages of symptoms:
By gathering this data from the drone pilot and the farm, Rumion Limited can discover key insights into the health of crops on the ground and inform pest control practices.
The drones themselves provide a few key benefits during the spraying process as well. For one, they can operate at night, when the FAW caterpillars tend to reveal themselves. They also atomize pesticides into micron-level droplets, allowing for even distribution and adhesion of chemicals to the surface of the plants at a higher coverage rate.
Additionally, the strong downdraft from the drone’s propellers assists in reducing liquid drift while increasing pesticide deposition — which is when both sides of the leaves and the central part of crops can be more precisely targeted.
This can increase the FAW’s exposure to chemicals and reduce the amount of pesticides needed, better conserving beneficial insects.
Drone operators work with strict rules. This includes avoiding spray drift to flowering crops, not spraying in the morning or the hottest part of the day and watching the weather to find the right and most effective time to spray.
Of course, drones are only part of the equation. Alongside drones are satellite imagery.
Dimitra uses five types of satellite indices during various stages of the crop season:
With satellite data, we look at the images and can determine what exactly is happening. It’s not that easy to paint the full picture of what’s going wrong with this data alone, though. You need an agronomist on the team and on the ground to get more information. This will allow farmers to understand the problem more holistically and find the right solution faster.
These tech-driven efforts, combined with advanced machine learning and data science methods, gives Rumion Limited the tools and insights they need to better understand their FAW problems in real time and discover effective solutions for control and management.
With these tech-based solutions in hand, Rumion Limited is better able to identify FAW threats early and accurately. Advanced satellite and drone imagery, combined with insights from the ground, paint a comprehensive picture of crop health across the property.
With the software arm of the Dimitra solution, the Connected Farmer App, Rumion Limited can take all this information and plug it into a detailed pesticide module. The application will help farmers on the ground assess the damage based on the symptom stages listed above to determine the correct method of spraying and identify which chemicals are appropriate for that particular stage of FAW infestation and maize growth.
This helps these farmers be more judicial with how they apply pesticides. Instead of continuously pumping pesticides hoping for results, which often presents a significant financial challenge, Rumion Limited can know exactly what and where to spray.
All this allows for better real-time decision-making to take place on the ground, leading to better yields, stronger crops and a healthier environment.
“Partnering with Dimitra will enable the first use of agricultural-specific drones in fighting the FAW infestation in PNG, with the aim to reduce human exposure to chemicals and increase application efficiency.” — David Duran, General Manager, Rumion Limited
Rumion Limited’s FAW problems required a comprehensive approach to tech integration that addressed the unique issues of their farm. While Dimitra’s solution encompasses a use-case-driven approach to this issue, the methods and practices can apply to virtually any agricultural problem.
Part of the issue with understanding the problems on the ground is that what causes damaged crops can vary. From heat damage to nutrient issues, Dimitra’s system can help farmers across the globe better understand the health of their crops and make better management decisions.
Moreover, the data science and machine learning arm of the Rumion Limited project can extend to other farms for other purposes.
While the models trained on maize crops are great at identifying FAW issues, other models can accomplish different goals. For example, drone and satellite imagery of a fruit farm alongside custom ML models can quickly identify the age of plants as well as the number of plants in a given area.
But it’s not just crops; it’s cattle too. These systems can easily do things like determine the weight and traits of cattle through imagery alone.
What Dimitra is developing in PNG for Rumion Limited is a single use-case but proof of concept that this type of Agtech-based system is broadly applicable to all kinds of unique agricultural issues.
To learn more about Dimitra, our mission and our suite of next-generation Agtech tools, like the Connected Farmer, Livestock Guru, Connected Coffee and Deforestation applications, be sure to connect with the team today.
Dimitra SASPRI-IPB – BELIZE CITY, BELIZE — Dimitra Incorporated, a global Agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is teaming up with SASPRI-IPB, a social enterprise company linked to the Agriculture Institute Bogor (IPB) to promote the development of community-based cattle farming. This collaboration aims to build Indonesian cattle farmers’ raising capabilities and increase their data-based production and efficiency.
To date, domestic production can only satisfy about 45% of the demand for beef in Indonesia. Moreover, most smallholder farmers keep breeding stock rather than fattening cattle. Farmers do this as they aim to have animals for extended periods to provide progeny to be sold and a continuum of stock to provide manure for cropping.
Dimitra and SASPRI are working to close the gap between the supply and demand of beef in Indonesia while supporting and empowering its farmers. In short, they plan to do this by implementing a community cattle farming development program based on a data-driven farming model. In addition, SASPRI will make sure its cattle business owners improve the quality of their breeding cattle with certifications through this program.
After the farmers have gone through the nine months and ten days of training, in collaboration with SASPRI, Dimitra will implement the Connected Farmer livestock module for these trained cattle farmers. Moreover, the Dimitra platform is built on blockchain technology and incorporates mobile technology, machine learning, IoT devices, satellite and drone imagery, genomics, and advanced farming research.
More specifically, farmers will have access to the following functionalities:
“SASPRI believes that by using Dimitra, smallholder farmers can increase the transparency and quality of their products. With traceability, consumers can trace the origins of products. Consumers can also understand the cultivation methods used and appreciate the hard work of breeders. It also helps protect farmers from unfounded accusations against their products,” says Founder and Chairman of SASPRI, Professor Muladno. “Collaboration between the government, universities, the business world, and technology such as Dimitra is very important. It supports the growth and digital transformation of the agriculture, livestock, and plantation sectors. Using the right technology, smallholder farmers can gain the recognition they deserve and continue their role in providing high-quality products that consumers value.”
There are a few things that these two organizations will keep in mind during this partnership. Firstly, exploring collaboration patterns in the data-based community cattle breeding program. Secondly, continuously initiating, assisting, monitoring, and evaluating the performance of this program.
The main focus of this program is cattle. However, there are opportunities for other farm animals, such as buffalo, sheep, and goats. Dimitra will add these animals to the program on a case-by-case basis.
Ultimately, SASPRI, in collaboration with Dimitra. Is working to recruit smallholder cattle breeders and improve their capabilities through education and certification. Following that, they plan to consolidate them into a cooperative. The goal is to increase competitiveness and improve the welfare of farmers. In fact, they are inviting local universities and governments to take advantage of their role in mobilizing breeders.
“Fortunately, the presence of technology like that developed by Dimitra is expected to bring positive changes. Through this technology, customers and consumers will now be able to obtain consolidated information on livestock numbers, livestock origin, quality, and health of livestock,” says Founder and Chairman of SASPRI, Professor Muladno. “By utilizing Dimitra’s technology, SASPRI’s efforts to build a collective business that aims to encourage the independence of farmers, ranchers, and area managers can be realized more quickly and more massively. SASPRI believes that this movement can strengthen the livestock sector as a whole through close cooperation and the use of the right technology. Even though it started on a small scale, this collective business has the potential to grow and reach a national scale.”
Dimitra SASPRI-IPB – Dimitra’s Indonesian country partner, Ricky Tanudibrata, says, “SASPRI-IPB and SPR, which is its educational arm, are instrumental in educating livestock entrepreneurs to follow sustainable farming practices, meet market volume and quality needs and, finally, build their welfare.
For this reason, Dimitra is here, providing solutions that are easy to implement and can be followed up by farmers. The interactions between breeders and the Dimitra technology ecosystem recorded on the blockchain will benefit other stakeholders in the beef supply chain. Buyers and consumers know exactly what they buy/eat and enjoy the transparency provided by the system.
Not to mention, this data-driven openness is undeniable. In turn, it will give the independent cattle farming community more opportunities and the confidence to grow. It will increase the availability of beef and improve the beef’s great taste. In addition, the availability of meat from smallholder cattle farms, which is healthier for consumers, will also increase.
So the strategic collaboration between SASPRI-IPB and Dimitra is to build the capacity of smallholder cattle breeders to be able to provide beef from their cattle farms. This beef is raised based on excellent and sustainable animal husbandry practices. It comes from the farms using Dimitra’s Connected Farmer platform. It is healthier for consumers and, at the same time, for our environment.”
Dimitra AgTech Breakthrough – August 18, 2023 — Dimitra has been selected as “Blockchain-based AgTech Solution Of The Year” in the 4th annual AgTech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by AgTech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies, technologies and products in the global agricultural and food technology markets today.
Dimitra provides technology to farmers worldwide through the use of blockchain. The agricultural application system helps farmers use technology to increase productivity, improve yield, and reduce cost and risk.
Therefore, Dimitra’s blockchain-based, “Connected Farmer” platform integrates satellite, AI, Machine Learning, IoT and more, while providing farmers with actionable data to make intelligent decisions and improve operations. Examples include implementing blockchain technology to automate regulatory and shipping documents, national and international food certification documents. As well as compliance documents, supporting the regulations and governance of the agro industry.
For instance, Dimitra also makes use of blockchain technology for reliable coffee traceability and through the entire supply chain process. The Dimitra system streamlines the whole supply chain, with tracking mechanisms from farm. To buying station and warehouses, through global transactions. The blockchain works to replace manual recordkeeping along the supply chain. Traceability enables downstream quality controls, and the ability to backtrack to upstream origin.
Dimitra has also built a Deforestation Certificate solution for farmers, traders, importers and consumer packaged goods companies. To ensure every shipment is compliant and meets the regulatory requirements of the EU. The solution combines satellite analysis, GPS data, AI, blockchain, and mobile technology, allowing operators to detect deforestation, prove compliance, and reduce the risk of fraud.
Such as, Farmers and cooperatives can consolidate the information on their farms with all data written to an enterprise grade blockchain. That provides transparency and takes advantage of blockchain’s security and immutable ledger.
“It all begins with the blockchain. We set out to develop the world’s first international agriculture network built on the blockchain. Thank you to AgTech Breakthrough for offering support to our mission of making advanced agtech available to small and medium-size farmers,” said Jon Trask, founder and CEO of Dimitra. “Agriculture feeds the global supply chain and we want to provide a solution from farm to plate. We will continue to expand on our platform’s capabilities. And deliver more value to farmers and, by extension, their communities, regions, and countries.”
The mission of the annual AgTech Breakthrough Awards program is to conduct the industry’s most comprehensive analysis. And evaluation of agricultural and food technology categories, including Internet-of-Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) based agricultural technologies, farm management, indoor farming, food quality, data analytics and many more. This year’s program attracted more than 1,750 nominations from over 15 different countries throughout the world.
“We’re thrilled to recognize Dimitra as ‘Blockchain-based AgTech Solution Of The Year.’ Supply chain automation using blockchain solutions, alone, is groundbreaking. Dimitra’s tech stack, which includes ML, AI, IoT, satellite, and drones, is having a worldwide impact on agriculture development,”. Said Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director, AgTech Breakthrough. “Blockchain is crucial to agriculture because it levels the playing field for farmers while also aligning with the regional needs of farming. It allows farmers of all sizes to improve productivity with the power of data.”
Dimitra has gained a global reputation as a leader in AgTech solutions. Partnering with national governments, farmer associations, NGOs, and development banks. By creating “Smart Farming” solutions, they have created actionable steps to enhance food security through sustainable agriculture while driving economic growth and development for local farmers and countries. It is part of their mission to “Think Local, Act Global,” a policy that brings unprecedented economic prosperity. To small and medium-sized farmers — which in turn spurs growth in local communities, cities, and nations.
By focusing on supporting smallholder farmers with innovative technological solutions Dimitra is addressing larger, seemingly impossible goals: ending world hunger, creating sustainable farming practices, fighting climate change, and growing national economies around the globe. With smallholder farmers representing nearly 570 million farms in the world and producing over 70% of the world’s produce. This bold step forward for Dimitra promises to have an impact on a global scale.
As they continue to grow our platform. Dimitra is being joined by some of the largest names in the AgTech space. They recently announced many new partnerships such as One Million Avocados, and Redmuch, allowing Dimitra to further develop the platform, increase user-adoption, and expand the utility of the Dimitra Ecosystem.
To learn more about the Dimitra Token as well as the Connected Farmer platform, visit www.dimitra.io.
Part of Tech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence and recognition platform for global technology innovation and leadership. The AgTech Breakthrough Awards program is devoted to honoring excellence in agricultural & food technologies, services, companies and products around the world. The AgTech Breakthrough Awards program provides a forum for public recognition around the achievements of AgTech companies and solutions in categories including farm management, indoor farming, IoT and robotics, FoodTech, analytics and more. For more information visit AgTechBreakthrough.com.
Dimitra Redmuch – Dimitra Incorporated, a global agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is working with REDMUCH, an organization in Honduras that, when translated to English, means “Network of Cocoa Woman Farmer and Chocolatiers of Honduras.” The organization currently consists of around 350 farmers, with the majority of them being female. As a whole, they work together to empower and support women in the agriculture industry.
To start with, Dimitra and REDMUCH are analyzing the cocoa industry needs to see where they can make a difference. In addition, the REDMUCH farmers will be using technologies available on Dimitra’s existing platforms, such as Connected Farmer and Connected Coffee. Based on the findings in this partnership, Dimitra is exploring the development of an official Connected Cocoa platform. The new platform will contain all of the necessary technological tools. These tools help cocoa farmers increase yields, mitigate risks, and reduce costs.
The challenges in the cocoa sector currently surround increasing productivity and international sales. An additional challenge includes the certification of organic and fair trade. This partnership is a proactive approach to tackling these industry challenges.
Currently, women make up approximately 45% of the workforce in agriculture around the world. But with gender pay gaps, local policy limitations, and insufficient access to the latest farming technologies, many women in agriculture today remain underpaid.
It is estimated that food production could increase by 30% if female farmers had equal access as males in this vital workforce. To put it another way, combating some of the challenges women face within the industry is one of the reasons this initiative has come to fruition. By helping women overcome the barriers they face and providing them with the tools needed for self-empowerment, we can make a thriving economy a reality.
REDMUCH is a remarkable network for several reasons. First, it is dedicated to the production and transformation of the cocoa industry. As a result, it contributes to increasing productivity and business potential. Just as important, it is a massive advocate for women. They have created a unique and supportive network for Honduran women. More specifically, enabling women who participate in the different links of the cocoa chain to communicate and exchange experiences.
With this in mind, REDMUCH, with the support of national and international organizations, seeks the organizational, social, and economic empowerment of women cocoa producers and processors. They are seeking this so that their participation in the cocoa value chain in Honduras is active, remarkable, and admirable.
The famous Honduran chocolate tastes like a mix of chocolate, cinnamon, and pinol. It is proudly derived from 100% Honduran crops, with cocoa being the primary ingredient. The unique chocolate is double certified, organic, fair trade, and made with high quality cocoa. In fact, Honduras, at the Central American level. Stands out for being the country that occupies second place in cocoa production.
Honduras cocoa doesn’t just provide the base for delicious chocolate, but it also provides a series of ecological benefits. Firstly, since the cocoa bean grows from an evergreen tree, planting more cocoa trees means reducing the impact of deforestation. Moreover, the trees transform carbon dioxide into oxygen, generating a healthy ecosystem and promoting biodiversity.
In addition to the ecological benefits, cocoa also benefits the community of Honduras.
The crop is linked to generating direct employment within the community, benefiting many people in the cocoa growing sector. According to the Honduras National Cocoa Chain Committee, there are more than 5,000 producing families. More than 20,000 jobs generated and more than 7,000 hectares planted in nine departments. Furthermore, in addition to cocoa benefiting the economy, it also has health benefits due to its high nutritional value, aesthetics, and cognitive abilities.
Calvin Funez from Honduras Conecta, Dimitra’s Honduras Partner, says, “We are thrilled to announce this new stepping stone towards the sustainability of cocoa production in Honduras. I foresee a very fruitful partnership with REDMUCH and look forward to beginning our first project together.”
Ana Jency Dubón Macedo, President of REDMUCH, says, “My expectation is that this new technology will give us a great boost in the traceability management of our cocoa producing farms and the added value that we give to our raw material. The positive impact on the agricultural sector is increasing yields, mitigating risks, reducing costs, etc. This improves the quality of life of our producing families. And the positive environmental impact that having this platform brings. I really feel that this brings us a great opportunity and hope for us as REDMUCH from all the links in the cocoa chain.”
Dimitra Cointelegraph East African Farmers – Small farmers in the developing world may be on the cusp of an agricultural breakthrough. With emerging technologies like satellite imagery, drones and machine learning boosting productivity. It’s becoming more viable than ever to sell their produce in places like Western Europe.
There’s just one catch: avocado farmers in East Africa or coffee growers in Latin America.
Their harvest bounty can’t come at the expense of denuded forests or through the assistance of child labor.
This is where blockchain technology could play a significant role.
“Blockchain creates a great solution with an immutable record, particularly [when] combined with mobile” and other emerging technologies, Jon Trask, CEO of Dimitra — an AgTech firm active in 18 countries, which has worked with government agencies in Brazil, India, Uganda and Nepal — told Cointelegraph.
On July 20, Dimitra and One Million Avocados (OMA) — a sustainability-focused tech group. announced a partnership to help Kenyan avocado farmers boost production and quality through cutting-edge emerging technologies, including blockchain.
Dimitra’s multitech platform, which also includes mobile technology, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things devices. Satellite imaging and genomics, will give small farmers “greater access to solutions to further promote sustainable farming practices. Primarily in pest and disease prevention and data reporting,” according to the press release.
Another key goal of the partnership is to help farmers in East Africa. “overcome traceability issues to ensure maximum value of produce and to align with international regulatory frameworks.”
It’s not just in Kenya or the African continent where this movement. Of agricultural goods from the Global South to the Global North is picking up, either. “We have the same situation in Indonesia, Brazil and a few other Latin American countries,” Trask told Cointelegraph. “When they [farmers] are exporting their produce, they can get more dollars per kilo.”
Documentation will be critical for would-be exporters, especially with Europe’s new deforestation regulation, which went into force in June. Though its main obligations won’t apply until yearend 2024. Explained Trask, adding: “When an avocado farmer in Kenya goes to export their produce. They need to create certain documentation to show the origin of the produce. It’s easy to create a fraudulent document.”
Enter blockchain, the traceability tool par excellence. “Blockchain-traced data is immutable and can serve as proof for farmers to get certifications or loans,” researcher SzuTung Chen, who recently completed a master’s thesis on coffee growing in Colombia, told Cointelegraph. “A blockchain company is working with carbon credit companies, for example. So that the farmers that are operating sustainable practices can have recorded data of their farming and get additional income.”
One of the biggest problems facing small farmers is information asymmetry, Chen explained. “Coffee brands and roasters capture the highest margin of the coffee price. Because they are closer to the end customers, and can leverage branding and marketing.”
Farmers, on the other hand, don’t know where their coffee goes after they sell it. The destination of their coffee or any coffee market trends. “which keeps them in a vulnerable situation in the supply chain,” she adds.
What blockchain can potentially do, she continued, is facilitate two-way transparency, so not only do stakeholders at the end of the supply chain know where the coffee comes from, but farmers also know what happens in the downstream supply chain.
Dimitra will use satellite imaging technology to help Kenyan farmers prove they aren’t ravaging woodlands to grow their avocados, but this technology can also be used to enhance productivity. By applying machine learning models to satellite imagery, Dimitra has developed algorithms that can pinpoint where more fertilizer is required or where irrigation needs to be stepped up, for example.
A multitech solution may generate synergies too. As Monica Singer, South African lead and senior strategy at ConsenSys, told Cointelegraph. “When you are able to create an ecosystem using mobile and Internet of Things devices and AI, where relevant. It will be a more powerful solution than the blockchain ledger on its own.”
Is this cross-disciplinary approach the wave of the future? “I believe that blockchain can’t do it on its own,” Trask said. “We need to combine technologies in order to provide the services that the agricultural industry needs.”
It may be different in the financial sphere, conceded Trask, who has spent the past six years working on blockchain-related projects — his supply chain-related experience goes back even further. DeFi use cases can often stand on their own, but agriculture is different. “When we combine those technologies — machine learning and visual imaging and drones with blockchain — we can get more bang for the buck.”
The firm has “trained” machine learning models to recognize what a tree looks like using satellite images. A “tree” must have a certain canopy, height, etc.
Dimitra says Kenyan farmers can double their productivity by applying emerging technologies available today. But how much of that gain derives from digital ledger technology per se?
“It does require a combination of technologies,” answered Trask, but one shouldn’t overlook blockchain’s importance. “We originally did a project in East Africa around cattle,” he said, adding:
Farmers discovered that they could “get 50% to 100% more per pound of beef than they would if they didn’t have a traceability [blockchain] system.”
If African avocado farmers can meet the European Union’s documentation requirements, “they can get 30%, 50%, maybe even a couple hundred percent more on export.” Further gains from AI-driven enhancements in areas like irrigation and fertilization could result in a further doubling of productivity, he suggested.
Others agree that blockchain technology can become a factor in its own right with regard to the continent’s agricultural sector. Particularly if its record-keeping capabilities are used for quality assurance, as Shadrack Kubyane. Co-founder of South’s Africa’s Coronet Blockchain and eFama App, told Cointelegraph.
The importance of tamper-proof agricultural records was driven home to Kubyane by the world’s worst-ever listeriosis outbreak. Which occurred in South Africa in January 2017 and had a death toll exceeding 200.
That case “continues to be contested in the courts to this day,” he said. The primary suspect remains a major food processing and distribution entity that, to this day, insists it was not the major source of the outbreak. “Had blockchain been in full force across that specific food chain, then the determinant factors and source of the outbreak would have been determined in two-and-a-half seconds or less, rather than waiting six-and-a-half years for a still-pending verdict.”
ConsenSys’s Singer is bullish about blockchain’s future use on the continent. “Supply chain technology with track-and-trace functionality using blockchain technology will be a game changer in Africa,” she told Cointelegraph. “We have a high penetration of mobile phones in the continent. We also know that blockchain technology is most useful when there are many intermediaries and when we need to have an audit trail of transactions involving many parties in a transparent manner.”
In Africa, the farmer is often the last to benefit from the sale of produce, “in particular when there is dependency on many intermediaries.” Among other virtues, blockchain tech also helps with “right-sizing intermediaries,” Singer added. Moreover, “We currently have very few sophisticated technologies for track-and-trace.”
Some of blockchain’s key attributes resemble those of traditional African bartering systems, like the one used in the small village where Kubyane grew up.
During the harvest season, crops could be traded for livestock in various quantities as needed. This made for some blockchain-like benefits, including traceability, as “people knew exactly where their food came from”; transparency, since “goods could be exchanged without intermediaries adding unnecessary markups”; and supply chain control, as “many farming families had control over their entire supply chain — however small scale — from seed banks to direct sales to consumers.”
A barter system has many limitations, of course, including a lack of scalability, and Kubyane is against turning back the clock on Africa’s modern food supply chain. But blockchain technology can help with many contemporary challenges, including “food traceability, post-harvest losses, lack of supply chain transparency, unfair trade practices, and monopolies that marginalize small and semi-commercial farmers,” he told Cointelegraph.
Dimitra Cointelegraph East African Farmers – Overall, it may take some time to move the African farming needle. “Certainly, it will take years,” said Trask. For instance, a farm cooperative may come in and sign a contract with Dimitra and say that “they’re going to onboard 30,000 farmers. We probably never get 100% adoption; we may only get 80%.”
Moreover, only 10% of system users may be “power users,” he continued. Some may be participating because food giants like Nestle and others have told them “they had to have traceability,” Trask noted. Other farmers simply don’t want to convert to new technologies.
Another challenge is, implementing these solutions sometimes “requires too many parties to be involved or to learn about the technology,” according to ConsenSys’s Singer.
Solutions must also be accessible, affordable and scalable, added Kubyane. “It is of utmost importance to have patient capital at a significant scale.”
In sum, synergies from melding blockchains with other emerging technologies like satellite imagery, AI, mobile tech and others may one day revolutionize agriculture in the developing world. But until that day arrives, farmers in East Africa and other regions can potentially fetch higher prices for their products by tapping export markets like the EU and North America.
But to secure a permanent place at dining tables in these Western economies, they will have to convince regulators and sustainability-minded publics that their crops weren’t grown by razing woodlands or employing child labor. To accomplish that, private and public blockchains, with their enhanced tracking, tracing and certification capabilities, may prove invaluable.
Dimitra One Million Avocados – BELIZE CITY, BELIZE — Dimitra Incorporated, a global Agtech company on a mission to make its technology available to farmers globally, is collaborating with One Million Avocados (OMA), a startup organization in Kenya, focused on helping the avocado farmers in the region. More specifically, OMA’s goal is to increase the production and quality of East African avocados using trace technology and, ultimately, “saving the world, one avocado at a time.”
So, why do people love avocados? This pear-shaped, green-skinned crop is not just a way to upgrade your dips and spreads, but they are also a nutrient-filled powerhouse. Contrary to popular belief, avocados are actually a fruit, not a vegetable.
An increasing number of people are focusing on a healthy lifestyle, leading to rising demand for nutritious food. As a result, the global avocado market is predicted to expand and grow in the coming years.
Amidst the projected growth of the avocado market, we have the farmers trying to keep up with demand. Before you see an avocado in the produce aisle of your local grocery store or market, a farmer will have gone through many stages to grow it — propagation, planting, farm analysis, post-harvest, and market distribution. Harvesting the fruit requires an enormous amount of labor and water.
To combat this, OMA is utilizing Dimitra’s tech stack to support the OMA farmers. To put it another way, farmers will be able to improve the current practices and create more sustainable farming methods for the future.
Currently, avocado farmers are facing certain challenges with their farming that we want to improve upon.
For example, there are stringent export rules that are in place that make it difficult for a farmer to export their produce with ease, limiting their potential revenue stream. Other common problems that farmers face are pests and diseases that affect the livelihood of their crops.
With Dimitra’s tech stack, combining advanced machine learning and data science methods, farmers can have the tools and insights they need to better understand their pest and disease problems in real time and discover effective solutions for control and management.
What’s more, Dimitra is exploring potential sponsorship opportunities and programs with OMA. For example, looking into helping farmers access financing modules to alleviate financial burdens. Together, they aim to cement Kenya’s position as Africa’s top producer of quality avocados and increase exports globally.
Currently, OMA focuses on traceability, precise farm management, pricing, financial inclusion, and the marketplace to support their farmers. By working with Dimitra, OMA’s farmers can utilize Dimitra’s tech-driven solution curated for the avocado industry. Ab0ve all, by providing farmers with the tools and support needed to succeed, they can increase yields, streamline supply chain processes, and promote sustainable farming practices.
Dimitra continuously develops the Connected Farmer platform to adapt to new regions and crops. Today, the platform is ready for avocados, and Swahili has been added to the growing list of 18 languages. More specifically, the app will be used to support OMA’s farmers with pest and disease prevention and data reporting.
By working with Dimitra, OMA plans to reduce administrative and operational costs associated with farm data registration and collection.
A noteworthy point about this agreement is that OMA uses Dimitra ($DMTR) tokens for transactions, ensuring that farmers also use the token. OMA will convert the One Million Avocados (OMA) farmers’ points accrued for DMTR tokens, consequently increasing awareness of Dimitra tokenization among its farmers.
Reporting is a big factor in a project like this. At Dimitra, we use reports to benefit farmers through advisory services. This way, farmers can apply actionable insights to their farming activities to increase yields, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and improve overall crop health.
More specifically, by increasing crop performance, farm productivity can as much as double in some cases.
Crop management includes factors such as:
In fact, an example of where Dimitra intervenes is providing recommendations to reclaim soil health and a problem diagnosis on what pests and diseases might be evident. A farmer receives these recommendations through an analytical crop report that can be sent daily, weekly, or monthly.
Prince Victor Femi-Fred, Dimitra’s Director of Sub-Saharan Africa, says, “Dimitra is proud of this partnership as it will help bridge the gap of complicated farming. Providing room for data-driven farming using today’s technology across the Sub-Saharan region of Africa to make a difference. We are excited to work with our new partner and expand Dimtira’s presence in Sub-Saharan Africa.”