Emilpa is a virtual platform that offers, via mobile, information of interest to agricultural farmers living in vulnerable situations. Through the sending of SMS, farmers receive information and/or alerts on meteorology, production and nutrition that allows them to adapt their crops to have the best harvest. Furthermore, this platform allows these farmers to have contact with different market agents.
An innovative solution for Guatemalan farmers
It arises in response to the information and training needs of agricultural farmers in Guatemala. In the Corredor Seco, where the families involved in EMILPA come from, periods of severe droughts and plagues in their communities are very frequent. Without access to forecasting and adaption mechanisms, the losses to farmers are devastating. Furthermore, when farmers try to make improvements to their plots, they do not have sufficient knowledge or technical assistance adapted to their reality.
Emilpa was born from the joint work of CODESPA and Sic4change. It is an adaptation of the Spanish agricultural technology platform for information exchange and processing of the CROPTI company. The initial step was the creation of the computer platform and its corresponding software. Subsequently, we carried out the socioeconomic diagnoses in the areas where we were going to work, to then prepare scheduled information packages based on the identified needs. We now have a database of vulnerable rural families to support.
Once the farmer is registered in the system, he or she periodically receives information adapted to their reality and needs through SMS.
Through the platform we provide solutions in 4 areas:
- Agricultural practices. We answer technical questions about production such as, how many seed per point should they use or how is the fertilizer used and which one is best for their crops.
- Nutrition. We offer training on what are the most nutritious foods for their children or how they can better take advantage of crops and reduce food insecurity.
- Hygiene and health. We raise awareness of healthy practices that reduce disease among families.
- Market access. We help farmers sell their crops under fair conditions. They are informed about market prices and can also be used to contact different buyers and distributors in the market.
A social company with an impact on health and well-being
Thanks to Emilpa we are increasing crop productivity and facilitating access to the market under fair conditions. It also allows us to optimize the use of food grown to improve the nutrition of families. In addition, through the platform, we will create a two-way communication channel between farmers and the Guatemalan rural extension system that will offer weather information for the prevention of possible emergencies. The ultimate goal is to improve the food security of families and increase their income.
One of the best advantages the Emilpa has is its flexibility to adapt the information to the conditions of each place or need. This makes it possible to use it in other contexts to respond to other challenges.
Emilpa is designed as a social enterprise, which will offer the services for free to the most vulnerable families. Its sustainability comes from financing from governments, NGOs and entities that want to use the platform for social purposes.
We adapt Emilpa to prevent COVID-19
We have adapted the tool to offer information, to this neglected population, on how to prevent COVID-19 and what to do in the event of symptoms.
Furthermore, in the face of the health and social emergency that we face, and the consequent limitation of our activities in the field, we make the Emilpa tool available to other organizations to ensure rapid and effective communication with its beneficiaries, avoiding the movement of their personnel to the field. Currently, the tool is only available to the Guatemalan population, but we are working to extend it to other countries where necessary.
In the same way, we are looking for people, companies and/or organizations that want to collaborate in the improvements of this tool as well as in its implementation in other countries. It is an opportunity to help the most vulnerable people in this world emergency situation.