On 21 June 2019, a consortium of Indonesian and Dutch organizations signed an agreement to start the ‘Sipindo Social Enterprise’. The social enterprise will provide vegetable farmers with advisory services via smartphone app.
In 2018, Sipindo launched its free smartphone app to vegetable smallholder farmers in Indonesia. The agribusiness app provides real-time and tailor-made advice to cucumber, tomato and chili farmers in Java and Lampung. This way farmers receive specific advice about the actual weather conditions and the available nutrients in the soil according to their location.
Newest technologies based on satellite-data
The innovative tech start-up Sipindo Social Enterprise aims to use the newest technologies, to provide advisory services to farmers in Indonesia based on satellite-data. The enterprise is backed by award-winning seed producer East West Seeds Indonesia (EWINDO), Dutch NGO ICCO Cooperation and the IPB University in Indonesia. Specialized technologies are provided by a partnership of Akvo, University of Twente and Nelen & Schuurmans.
EWINDO, the largest share owner of the social enterprise, has a long tradition of working together with farmers to improve their practices. President Director Glenn Pardede states, “For years we have enabled our vegetable farmers to increase their yields with high quality seeds. With the new technology from Sipindo, we are able to provide advice on the whole crop cycle, from sowing to harvest.”
Supporting smallholder farmers in Indonesia has been a main focus point for the Dutch NGO ICCO as well. Regional Director Kees de Ruiter says: “Our classical extension work has always been on the ground, actually visiting groups of smallholder farmers to provide training and capacity building. New technologies allow us to additionally get in contact with remote farmers, opening up new ways of development work.”
With the app already available in the Play Store, the Sipindo Social Enterprise will kick-start its operations at the end of 2019. This collaboration is the next step for the consortium that has worked together in the SMARTseeds project, part of the Geodata For Agriculture and Water program (G4AW) of the Netherlands Space Office.