Coffee is a universally loved beverage – be it your dark, strong shots of espresso or frothy filter coffee in a steel tumbler. What better way to wake up every morning than to the smell of this freshly brewed delicious dark liquid? But have you ever wondered where your coffee comes from? What are the challenges that farmers face, protecting their crops from diseases and bad weather conditions to get that bean to your cup? Luckily you don’t have to.
Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International or better known as CABI is an international not-for-profit organization that improves people’s lives by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment.
CABI understands the importance of mobile technology in reaching remote communities in countries like India. They associated with Coffee Board of India and Knowlarity, to launch the Café Móvel (meaning Mobile Coffee in Portuguese) a mobile-enabled initiative to provide the information needed by coffee producers in southern India.
Knowlarity provided an automated solution that connects farmers and crop experts to collect and disseminate information respectively, using its flagship product Smart IVR. The callers first need to register themselves as either farmers or crop experts. Based on a series of questions such as Pincode, type of coffee they grow, size of the farm, and so on, the system registers the caller as a farmer. Similarly, the crop experts also answer a series of questions to register themselves.
The next time onwards, the IVR automatically detects the caller-type—farmer or expert—based on their phone numbers and redirects them to respective phone menus. If a farmer calls, s/he can listen to the latest alerts on weather, developments in farming techniques, information on combating crop diseases, or the latest world market price of different types of coffee in order to support real-time decision making. The farmer can also record a question for an expert or even request to speak to an expert of his/her choice.
The expert on the other hand can call in to listen to questions from farmers and record their answers or opt to speak directly to the farmer. For the latter, the IVR automatically connects the expert to the farmer’s number for them to speak directly to one another.
This mobile advisory service has been embraced by thousands of farmers. Farmers view mobile delivery of agricultural information beneficial, enabling them to access up-to-the-minute data in order to improve their crop yield and in turn their livelihood. Café Móvel aims to advise and support 150,000 coffee farmers in Southern India by 2015.
Data Source: Cabi.Org, CafeMovel.Org