OpenFn is helping small-scale farmers break the cycle of poverty with an automated savings & supply chain system. Small-scale farmers are feeding the world, but a majority of them are in an endless cycle of poverty and lack access to traditional banks and financing. In this post, we highlight our partner myAgro, an organization leveraging OpenFn automation to help scale its programs towards its goal of serving 1 million farmers in 2025.
Here's the overview.
myAgro has pioneered an innovative bankless savings plan that allows thousands of farmers to finance themselves and invest their money in high-quality seeds, fertilizer, tools, and training. OpenFn automates myAgro’s mobile layaway platform, powering a system where farmers can incrementally pay for agricultural inputs by purchasing savings vouchers in local stores—making deposits via SMS. myAgro holds those layaway payments until planting time, when bulk purchases of seeds, fertilizers, and tools are delivered to the farmers based on individualized plans.
What is myAgro?
myAgro helps thousands of farmers in Senegal and Mali save money for seed and fertilizer using what they already have—their mobile phone. With a mission to move small-scale farmers out of poverty, myAgro leveraged OpenFn to develop a mobile layaway platform that connects their Telerivet SMS-based savings deposit system, Salesforce farmer tracking & supply chain system, and CommCare barcode-scanning mobile app.
Using Excel and paper to manage thousands of farmer transactions.
In 2014, myAgro utilized Telerivet, an instant SMS and voice platform, to capture farmer savings deposits, and paper to track voucher shipments. They would then regularly export the SMS data to an Excel spreadsheet, and manually match savings deposits against a database of vouchers before allocating credit to a farmer’s account and sending a confirmation SMS. Staff spent 1-2 hours per day (or 261+ hours per year) on this data reconciliation process, which had high potential for human error.
Where OpenFn comes in...
OpenFn moved this entire manual process over to the cloud, automating the savings deposit system and connecting a CommCare barcode-scanning mobile app for real-time farmer order management and inventory tracking. By integrating Telerivet and Salesforce, myAgro no longer has to rely on data entries and uploads that would take 1-2 hours each day.
OpenFn now processes all SMS messages automatically, builds trust by providing instant confirmation to farmers, and eliminates the chance of human error in savings allocations. OpenFn helped myAgro transition from managing rows and columns of data in an Excel spreadsheet to an automated savings and inventory tracking system that enables real-time program monitoring.
- In 2014, myAgro serviced 14,000 farmers across 200 villages in Senegal and Mali.
- With the help of OpenFn, myAgro worked with 120,000 farmers in 2019, and plans
to scale towards its goal of reaching
1 million farmersby 2025.
Read more about myAgro’s mission here, and stay tuned as myAgro continues to scale its OpenFn implementation.