Thursday, September 6, 2018

Why Trust Matters

Lack of Trust prevents Farmers in Developing countries from realising their full income potential

The defining moment of AgUnity’s inception came when Founding CEO David Davies realised that the key ingredient holding back poor farmers from improving their lives was not physical inputs such as machinery, money or good weather. The key ingredient was in fact, the most basic and fundamental aspect of human civilisation: trust.

For those of us fortunate to be in modern and well developed countries, it is something most of us take for granted, but it's essential for effective cooperation. And without cooperation, small farmers are on the wrong end of economies of scale.

In everything they do, it costs them more, is much more physically difficult and generates a significantly lower return than larger farms. The combination of these inefficiencies adds up more than we (for those of us who have never been poor) can imagine.

The solution is to organise 100-1,000 farmers to cooperate together to share equipment, and buy and sell together in the form of a farming co-operative. The critical problem remains however, that without clear records and proper documentation, corruption and graft remains pervasive and this leads to significant distrust between farmers and co-ops.

The solution is the creation of a circle of trust using a Smartphone App and Blockchain

The AgUnity App is a record keeping system that works smartphone to smartphone and writes to blockchain so it can never be altered. It has been designed in collaboration with smallholder farmers in some of the most remote rural areas around the world.

But the power of that simple process and its ability to transform groups of individual farmers into an effective cooperative should not be underestimated.

Our initial pilot project demonstrated that within just one season it is possible to increase a farmers income by 3x, simply by enabling cooperation and trust.