At PeaceTech Accelerator, a platform for small farmers looks to grow - Technical.ly DC

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Jul. 9, 2018 12:16 pm

At PeaceTech Accelerator, a platform for small farmers looks to grow

Agromovil looks to provide a connection between small farmers and transporters to get crops to market.

Agromovil is a locally-founded startup in the latest PeaceTech Accelerator cohort.

(Courtesy photo)

Agromovil is looking to help small farmers in the developing world get more of their crops to market.

The platform combines mobile banking and on-demand transport. It’s centered around connecting the small farmers and people who transport crops, with the concept divided into “match, batch and pay.” The platform matches the producer with the supply chain, batches the crops so that transporters can pick them up from a small farm, and then pays the farmer through the platform so that the transaction works seamlessly.

For Andy Mack, the D.C.–based founder and CEO of the startup, the idea grew out of travel through Latin America and Africa for international consulting work. Even after farmers complete the work of growing the food, some is lost to rot or is not picked up.

“We looked at the problem and realized no one has solved getting the stuff, like say avocados or pineapples, to market by making the connection between the producer and the transporter. There was a crazy amount of money being lost: Nearly 30 percent of crops harvested across the world never make it to consumers, which is a loss of about $150 billion per year at production.”

The relationships the company has built so far have been with small farms who are members of co-ops working in Colombia.

Agromovil is one of the local startups that’s part of the latest cohort of the PeaceTech Accelerator, which began in June. In all, 10 early-stage startups have been selected to join the eight-week program.

The accelerator, which is affiliated with the PeaceTech Lab housed within the United States Institute of Peace, helps startups scale by using cloud technology. It’s a collaboration between C5, Amazon Web Services and SAP NS2.

The program assists startups that want to innovate in areas of mitigating or preventing conflict and sustainably promoting peace around the world. So far, 18 startups have graduated from the PeaceTech Accelerator.

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“To the extent that we can bring [farmers] into the global supply chain and make that work better that’s good for peace, it’s good for the countries and good for food security,” Mack said. “Agriculture takes time but there is a peace dividend for the people who are mobilizing.”

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