Impact Terra is a company based in Myanmar, leveraging data to help farmers gain better yield out of their efforts.
Impact Terra is a social business platform that helps farmers to be more aware and consequently, independent. The company was founded by Erwin Sikma, former McKinsey consultant and Rocket Internet managing director in 2016 and is based out of Yangon, Myanmar. They leverage data to allow farmers access to news and information regarding key factors that affect their work. The target audience for the firm is smallholder farmers, and their goal is to boost their yield and improve their lives.
Impact Terra provides farmers with access to relevant information regarding crops, the weather, the market and other significant factors to help them improve their farming practices, planning and yield. The company rides the wave of the recently boosted mobile penetration in Myanmar after 2014. Their free app, “Golden Paddy” is their main platform for user interaction. They have partnered up with the Department of Agriculture, and others to collect and disperse accurate information at the local levels, helping farmers all around the country. The platform prioritizes user engagement, observing and interacting with users from the most far-flung rural areas of Myanmar.
They also have 2 portals, Crop Insights portal for businesses and Farmer Platform for farmers. The former allows businesses to connect and coordinate their operations and decision making. It also allows them to identify and measure climate risks as well as study crop-related data like development information and market viability. The latter helps farmers connect as well as with various services, using digital extensions to reach and support them with various schemes, products or services.
Myanmar is an outlier when it comes to digital technology, thanks to its release from Isolation and military dictatorship. In the following 3 years, mobile penetration has shot up from a measly 4% to 80%, significantly boosting connectivity and creating a fertile background for tech entrepreneurs.
Just a year after its launch, the Golden Paddy app reached almost the entire country, marking its presence in 97% of townships. Today, Golden Paddy reaches 3 million unique users monthly and caters to farmers across the region. Golden Paddy generates revenue from advertisements, lead generation, data insights and transactions. Farmers use services for free, avoiding losses with reliable advice, obtaining better rates for products and cheaper customized loans.
Impact Terra is also testing the use of collected data for Farmer Credit Scoring, opening up new avenues for agricultural financing. Traditional means of credit scoring excludes most small farmers with less land located far away from financing facilities or city centres. In a country like Myanmar where Credit scoring is inherently at a nascent stage, leveraging data for this purpose can help advance the existing system significantly.
Impact Terra has obtained a $3 Million grant from Geodata for Agriculture and Water. The food security firm has thrown its support behind Impact Terra and their platform, being their sole investor so far as the announcement in March 2018.