1. Agriculture World

This Innovative Mobile App is Helping Thousands of Farmers in Philippines

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

Over 3,000 growers in the Philippines are using a mobile application for Android devices known as RiceUp that has considerably increased their income.

Student of Brigham Young University (BYU), Hawaii Eli Clark says “On average, our cultivators would go from $71 per month to $500 per month, which in the Philippines is absolutely crazy”.

BYU student, Elvin Laceda came up with the notion for an app to eliminate the middleman who would take the lion's share of a grower's sales. He said, “It was a foreign idea to my people as they have not thought that they can make use of phones - just like Uber - to get in touch with the consumers directly”.

A group of 40 students had worked on the RiceUp plan that included planting farming schools in the Philippines to train the farmers’ business skills & financial literacy. Currently, there are 30 farm schools, most of them in the rural areas that used to be rebel strongholds.

RiceUp's Princess Donato-Astle told "The majority of growers did not complete high school, so they are not actually equipped to be agriculture entrepreneurs".

With more cash in their pockets, many cultivators no longer need to take loans and they are developing farming cooperatives.

RiceUp's Joseph Duano said, "We are currently empowering them to, in a sense, fight back & make decisions for themselves that means the middlemen cannot dictate their prices any longer."

The technique has proved so successful in the Philippines that the Brigham Young University is now working with farmers in Cambodia.

The mobile app was entered into a national contest known as Enactus and BYU-Hawaii secured first place. Adviser of Enactus, PJ Rogers said, "It is not about winning. It is about the farmers. They just love these children as they are changing their lives".

It is important to mention that RiceUp is now a corporation and has received the support of the Philippine government. Laceda said, “It is amazing how farming can be a source of hope to our people”.

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