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BoonaNET SMS & IM Mediated Price Information for Crops in Ethiopia

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Presentation on theme: "BoonaNET SMS & IM Mediated Price Information for Crops in Ethiopia"— Presentation transcript:

1 BoonaNET SMS & IM Mediated Price Information for Crops in Ethiopia
Samuel Kinde Kassegne+, Ashenafi Assefa++ and Mieso Denko+++ + Professor of Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA ++ Project Coordinator, FeedeliX Wireless, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia +++ Professor of Computer Science, University of Guelph, Canada. August 22, 2007, WITFOR 2007, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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What the project is all about …………. BoonaNet – the use of SMS (text messaging) and IM (instant messaging) technologies in LOCAL SCRIPT (Ethiopic) for commodity market information collection and retrieval. Commodities considered: Coffee, Teff, and Berbere – Red Pepper/Paprika. Boona - Coffee Ethiopic SMS Ethiopic IM Images courtesy: Feedelix,WFP, LYIP, Savory,Oxfam BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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What we will cover in this talk …………. Project Objectives Enabling Technology Unique Application – Localized SMS/IM for pricing info. What We Propose What We Have Done Commoditization Models for COFFEE, TEFF, and BERBERE Deployment of Technology – BoonaNET and Extended BoonaNET Analysis of Data (Coffee, Teff, and Berbere) Pilot Project Evaluation Future Plans Acknowledgments Images courtesy: Feedelix,WFP, AFOZ BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Project Objectives The Ras Dashen Model [Highest point in Ethiopia] Ras Dashen – 4620 m 5 Goal 4 - Build database of commodity price information – mobile Goal 5 - Demonstrate Impact on Commodities Market. Towards Ambiqo m is (this == ‘Model’ || this == ‘Metaphor’) Cheneq m Goal 3 - Recruit, train and deploy team in coffee/teff/berbere regions. Goal 1 - Introduction of SMS & IM in local script (Ethiopic) Sanka-Ber m Goal 2 - Build infrastructure for commodity price system (hardware – servers; software – client). 1 Gondar – 2200 m Images courtesy: WFP, LYIP, Savory. WWGT BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Technical Basis – Enabling Technology Mapping & Rendering Technology for Non-Latin Scripts – Mobile Phones Feedelix Core Technology: BREAK the SCRIPT BARRIER - Make Mobile Content Available on Any Device – Any Platform – Anytime. Existing Solution: Hindi, Ethiopic, Chinese (Q4-07), Arabic (Q1-08), More Indic (08). Mapped to 12 keys 345 char 1- Any device Chinese Script (Pin-Yin) Arabic Script + variants (Persian, Urdu, etc) Indic Scripts (Hindi, Marathi, Gujaratti, etc) New SMS traffic trans. protocol Ethiopic Script Feedelix Server 2 - Anytime BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Unique Application – Commodity Prices BROAD QUESTION: Can our technology be used to impact ordinary lives in developing countries now that mobile devices are ubiquitous? FACTS ON THE GROUND Farmers are getting paid a fraction of the value of their crops and continue to live in perpetual poverty [85% of Ethiopia] Current commodity price information is based on radio and print media (Once in 2 weeks for coffee). No technology for real-time information is available. Need technology with Local Script (writing systems) support. Successful model in the use of SMS (Roman/Latin script) for market information demonstrated in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, etc. [Kace Kenya] Images courtesy: Feedelix, WHO BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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What We Propose……….. Provide market and price content using technology: Mobile as well as desktop. Languages/Script: Amharic, Tigrigna, and Afaan Oromo. Commodities considered: teff (Gojam, Bishoftu, etc), berbere, coffee (Jimma/Kaffa and Sidamo) SPECIFIC QUESTION: What are the technology and infrastructure conditions unique to Ethiopia and other dev. countries such as India? Merits: Higher/Competitive prices for goods Bargaining power for farmers Broader Impact: Empower networking effect Make the Ethiopian farmer compete at previously out-of-reach levels – say regional & global markets. Poverty Alleviation BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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What We Have Done……….. Infrastructure Work Logistics: Fine-tune SMS/IM technology to Ethiopian conditions. Selection of Commodity/Locations Team Selection – Early technology adopters Training and Deployment Dejen Jimma/Kaffa Mareqo Alaba Dilla US Team ET Team 5 locations Coffee – Jimma, Dilla, AA. Teff – Dejen, Berbere – Mareqo, Alaba. Images courtesy: FeedeliX. BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Workflow of Coffee Commoditization – Model 1 – Free Trade Wholesaler Value Added: Coffee sorting & washing Collectors Farmer Sent to Addis Export Premium quality Auction Ranking of coffee. Grade 1, 2, 3, etc. Supermarket in local market. Sold in local market. Failed quality Images courtesy: WFP, Oxfam. BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Workflow of Coffee Commoditization – Model 2 – Cooperatives Cooperatives Value Added: Coffee processing & transport to Addis Farmer Sold to Fair - Trade Unions Sold in local market. Images courtesy: WFP, LYIP, Savory. BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Workflow of Teff Commoditization Farmer Traders - (Aggregators) – Buy grain from small farmers at local markets. Twice/week. Stored till shipping to Addis. Small-scale Farmers Sent to Addis Ranking of Teff Grades: 1st - Magna, 2nd – Sergegna 3rd – Abolle 4th – Qey/Tiqur Sell Points – Ihil Berenda/Mesalemiya - Merkato Area Images courtesy: Projects Abroad, MediaETHIOPIA BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Workflow of Berbere Commoditization Traders - Buy grain from small farmers at local markets. Thrice/week. Small-scale Farmers Sold by Feresula = 17 Kg (Addis, Mareqo) = 20 Kg (Alaba) Sent to Addis Ranking of Berbere Grades: 1st -Zala, 2nd – Foshe 3rd – Tala Sell Points –Berbere Tera- Merkato Area Images courtesy: Projects Abroad, MediaETHIOPIA BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Technology Deployment – How Does BoonaNet Work? Daily price manifesto posted to farmers/traders Coffee Farmer Feedelix data collectors in Addis Jimma SMS/IM price in Addis to Farmer in Jimma – Real Time Feedelix Server (virtual Addis Ababa) FeedelSMS FeedelMessenger Dilla Amharic SMS/IM from desktop SMS/IM price in Addis to Farmer in Dilla – Real time Coffee Farmer Images courtesy: IAS BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Technology Deployment – How Does ExtendedBoonaNet Work? Daily price manifesto posted to farmers/traders SMS/IM price in US/Europe to Farmer in Jimma – Real Time Feedelix data collectors in Addis Coffee Farmer J1 Jimma SMS/IM price in Addis to Farmer in Jimma – Real Time J2 Ad1 US1 J3 Ad2 Feedelix Server (virtual Addis Ababa) FeedelSMS FeedelMessenger Feedelix Server (US) Team in US Amharic SMS/IM from desktop Ad3 D1 Dilla Ad4 US2 SMS/IM price in Addis to Farmer in Dilla – Real time D2 SMS/IM price in US/Europe to Farmer in Dilla – Real Time D3 BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Analysis of Data – Coffee Price – Birr/Kg Days Price/Kilogram in Birr August 6-20, 07 6-10% diff. Between AA & Jimma. Days Images courtesy: Feedelix BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Analysis of Data – Teff < 5% price diff bet AA & Dejen 20% price diff bet AA & Dejen Price/Quintal in Birr (100Kg) August 6-20, 07 Does the onset of the Orthodox Christian Fasting season (16 days) on August 7/8 affect Teff prices? 15-33% price diff bet AA & Dejen Images courtesy: Feedelix BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Analysis of Data – Berbere Price/Kilogram in Birr. August 6-20, 07 BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Pilot Project Assessment / Evaluation Technical Challenges Internet Connectivity/Reliability Lost productivity time. App (FeedelMessenger) too big for bandwidth to install through web download. Thumb-drives and Hawala! Data interruption on 20% of time. Worst last week. Cost over-run for idle personnel during downtime. No bandwidth for debugging software problems. Debugging of web-application easier (& perhaps cheaper?) in US. National competitiveness in attracting business opportunities seriously affected. Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana benefiting. Why not Ethiopia? Opportunities for our bright young men and women to be integrated to the global knowledge force seriously hampered. New Millennium - new thinking – Allow competition in ISP. Nation-wide SMS Gateway Availability Work-arounds are possible; but affects scalability. Will perhaps change in due time BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Pilot Project Assessment / Evaluation Data Validity Duration of data collection – 2 weeks. Classification of commodity not uniform. Dejen’s Magna teff can be sold as Sergegna in Addis, etc. Collection/Harvest time for crops (October for coffee, December-January for Teff). Commodity-Specific Issues Coffee has a unique commoditization model. BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Project Assessment Ras Dashen – 4620 m Goal 4 - Build database of commodity price information – mobile 5 Goal 5 - Demonstrate Impact on Commodities Market. Towards Ambiqo m Cheneq m Goal 3 - Recruit, train and deploy team in coffee/teff/berbere regions. Goal 1 - Introduction of SMS & IM in local script (Ethiopic) Sanka-Ber m Goal 2 - Build infrastructure for commodity price system (hardware – servers; software – client). 1 Gondar – 2200 m Images courtesy: WFP, LYIP, Savory. WWGT BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Future Plans Our Immediate Plan Calls for: Completion and automation for repeat at coffee harvest time. Extended infrastructure needed. ETCropNet – From Pilot project to brick-and-mortar presence in Ethiopia. BharatCropNet – New Markets (such as India) – Pilot project – Q4 08. Actively pursuing external fund to finance these projects. BhahratiFasalNet Deliverable: Pilot Project that launches a network effect to empower Ethiopian peasants Images courtesy:Feedelix BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless

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Thanks…………. Shiferaw Abebe – Addis Ababa (Former Graduate student) Ted Kidane (Feedelix Wireless - USA) Feedelix Team Members: Ashenafi Assefa – Addis Ababa Selamu Assefa – Addis Ababa Hayat Regassa – Alaba Jilalu – Butajira – Mareqo Achenf Tamagn – Dejen, Gojam Dereje Tafesse – Jimma/Kaffa Shemsedin Nur – Dilla, Sidamo Shantanu Chawla – San Diego, CA, USA Samuel Kinde Kassegne – San Diego, CA, USA Questions ?? BoonaNet by Feedelix Wireless


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