Case Study: Communication and Risk Warning by SMS

Crop field in East Africa with little plants in rows

Harvest and trade better

The digital advice service by agriBORA sends weather forecasts and agricultural cultivation tips. As a communication platform between cultivation and trade, the agriBORA app supports the food supply in East Africa. This way, the app helps smallholders to adapt their field management to the weather forecast or to protect themselves from pest plagues increasing their yields. L-One’s offshore team is developing the front end of the app, for the display of information and its input. The app sends messages via SMS and is used along the entire value chain between cultivation and distribution to exchange messages, from warnings to sales support.

KO
The Kenyan Kizito Odhiambo has been living in Germany for 10 years, where he studied and founded the start-up agriBora. He is also a Global Learning Facilitator in the network Education Meets Development.

What is developed
With the agriBora app, the Kenyan Kizito Odhiambo has devised a digital tool for the small farmers and farmers in Kenya. The conditions there cannot be compared with those in Europe. The app enables an exchange between the farmers and distributes very helpful and sometimes necessary warnings, for example of approaching thunderstorms. Providing customers with agricultural data – forecasts, weather data, cultivation recommendations – is one component. The tool is also a sales platform. Farmers have a direct line to cooperatives, wholesalers, seed and fertiliser producers.

The app includes free and paid service offers. It also handles cashless transactions over the telephone. Communication takes place via integrated voice messages and SMS in English, Kiswahili and other regional languages such as Luo and Luyha.

From the very beginning there has been a clear division of labour. L-One took over the frontend development, agriBORA the backend.

»Our solution was not well visualised and not practical for our customers. We are not front end experts for this and do not have the manpower. We are glad that L-One implemented the front-end for us.«

Kizito Odhiambo, founder and CEO of agriBORA

Challenges
The agriBORA app informs farmers by text message in English or several national languages about approaching storms or pest infestations.

Field view from Satelite
The agriBORA app informs farmers by text message in English or several local languages about approaching storms or pest infestations.

The cooperation with the L-One team in Damascus

As development time was tight, Kizito Odhiambo initially had one thing in mind: “Thanks to the same tools used for communication, onboarding worked well and teamwork was straightforward from the start. All in all, it worked better than expected”.

Market in East Africa
The aim of the agriBORA app is to optimise harvests and improve communication in agriculture and trade.

»L-Ones Offshore Team unterstützt uns bei der Frontend-Entwicklung. Vorteil: Die Zeit- und Kostenersparnis. Und noch wichtiger: Wir können uns auf unsere Kernkompetenz konzentrieren.«

Kizito Odhiambo, Gründer und Geschäftsführer von agriBORA

Results, plans for the future
agriBORA gain a time advantage. The employees can concentrate on what they understand: Time for the customer, the product idea and programming in the backend environment. The implementation of the area visible to the users of our web applications, the frontend, is what L-One does. “We simply lacked the manpower for the frontend. The front-end that we now have appeals and provides solutions that we could never have implemented in this way,” concludes Kitzito Odhiambo.

With agriBora’s growth, the cooperation with L-One will soon be expanded. This means that the number of working hours and the number of offshore team members will be increased.

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Contact us: Are you planning an IT project? We will be happy to discuss it with you.
Homepage of the customer: agriBORA UG

Case Study: Mobile App for Precision Farming

Solorrow card on terminal project by L-One Systems

Field Cultivation for Tomorrow

L-One’s offshore team has been supporting the start-up Solorrow from the very beginning with the development of the precision farming app Solorrow. Both the front-end (app side) and the back-end are developed. By satellite, stretches of farmland are recorded, characteristic values get analysed and documented. The Solorrow app enables farmers to manage their fields by means of differentiated field potential maps. Afterwards, the optimal use of seeds and fertilizers can be calculated. Zones that have lower growth potential can be identified, as can zones with higher average biomass growths.

Combine harvester in the field
The Solorrow app controls the automatic recognition of field boundaries as well as the determination of individual field potentials

What the L-One team has developed
The Solorrow app can be downloaded as a SaaS application for tablets or smartphones. It requires no additional software to get started and enables farmers to start precision farming quickly and easily.

Responsible for the software development from the very beginning, the L-One team and the Solorrow team set up an agile, innovative form of project cooperation that, despite the physical distance, works till today transparent, flexible and creative.

»Some items appear “lost in translation”. If this happens, the developers in the offshore team make complicated issues understandable even for non-developers.«

Laura Stephan, product manager, Solorrow GmbH

Challenges
There is no employee with an IT background in Solorrow’s operational team.

Laura Stephan regrets that people do not get to know each other personally: “It is a great pity for me. I attach great importance to a good interpersonal basis. However, this is compensated for by regular calls that are not exclusively about business but also focus on intercultural content. This helps me to better understand the background and working methods”.

The_Solorrow_Team
The Solorrow team at a trade fair presentation for the precision farming app

The cooperation with the L-One teams in Darmstadt and in Damascus

The collaboration is mainly organized through Trello and run as a Scrum procedure with weekly sprints. The communication in the daily collaboration is conducted through Slack. In addition, there are weekly jour fixe appointments for discussion and sprint planning.

The process is very structured, but ad hoc requests are also possible, quickly answered and if agreed upon, short-term decisions can be implemented. The developers of L-One are reliable, professional. They act independently and largely proactive.

The Solorrow drive mode allows subarea-specific field processing using the app’s map on the tablet

»The cooperation with L-One in developing of the Solorrow App is professional and agile. Despite the physical distance, I know our software is always in safe hands.«

Laura Stephan, product manager, Solorrow GmbH

Results, plans for the future
In November 2019, the Solorrow team won the Hessian Founders’ Prize. The jury was convinced by the app’s uncomplicated functionality, allowing farmers to analyse the yield potential of their fields with just a few clicks. Solorrow plans to develop an additional web interface for the app, again partnering with L-One’s offshore team.