Kenyan team wins regional IBM award for developing solution to help reduce food waste
IBM and David Clark Cause have announced Mavuno Link as the Middle East and Africa Regional Winner of the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge.
This year’s regional winning solution is from a team of developers out of Nairobi, Kenya, who designed the Mavuno Link application to help tackle food waste and reduce the 5.2million tonnes of food lost every 12 months in the country. The application connects farmers, drivers and buyers on a common platform and aims to lessen the amount of food lost after harvest by saving time on the logistics and giving farmers direct access to traders.
Upon registration, the farmer is able to make their produce public. The buyer or customer then selects the product needed as well as the quantity and the date when the products should be delivered – initiating the process. This information is shared with the driver who, in addition to scheduling the pick-up and delivery, verifies the pick-up and delivery checklist for fulfilled orders.
“One of the biggest challenges towards achieving zero hunger is food that is lost after harvest. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, the global volume of food wastage is estimated at 1.6 billion tonnes of "primary product equivalents." This is about 37% of the total food supply. Total food wastage for the edible part of this amounts to 1.3 billion tonnes,” said Sammy Oina speaking on behalf of Mavuno Link. “Our solution addresses this issue by directly connecting farmers to distributors like drivers and buyers or consumers, thus providing a digital marketplace for the exchange of farm produce, hence reducing waste. Participating in tCall for Code has provided us at Qualis Labs with an opportunity to engage our community by building a solution that will make the community better as well as contribute towards achieving zero hunger globally.”
Designed to be used by the various users, the application has a farmer interface, a driver interface and a consumer interface. In addition to the application, Mavuno Link also has USSD and SMS platforms enabling users with no access to the internet to connect on the digital marketplace. It also allows the final consumer to provide feedback on the quality of the produce, which farmers can use to ensure they are meeting user needs.
As the winner for the Middle East and Africa region, Mavuno Link joins Call for Code’s ecosystem, which unites the world’s millions of developers and data scientists to unleash the power of cloud, AI, blockchain, and IoT technologies to solve pressing global problems with sustainable and scalable open source-powered technologies.
Mavuno Link will be awarded a total of $5,000 which will go towards future development and deployment of the application. They will also receive support from IBM’s technical experts.
For the 2021 Call for Code challenge, developers, innovators and problem solvers across the globe were invited to combat climate change with open source-powered technology. The three themes proposed this year among the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were: Drinking water and sanitation; World hunger; Responsible production and consumption.
In addition to the winning team, the Call for Code Global Challenge had regional finalists from other African countries such as Botswana tackling the issue of providing safe drinking water.
Now in its fourth year, Call for Code has generated more than twenty thousand solutions built using a combination of open source-powered software such as Red Hat OpenShift, IBM Cloud, IBM Watson, and IBM Blockchain, as well as data from IBM’s The Weather Company and developer resources and APIs from partners like Esri and Twilio. Fourteen Call for Code projects have been open sourced in collaboration with The Linux Foundation.
Since its launch in 2018, this movement has grown to more than 500,000 developers and problem solvers across 180 nations, reflecting the reality that challenges like climate change and COVID-19 demand solutions that work on the local level, but also have the ability to scale and help any community, anywhere.
“At IBM, we do our best to apply data, knowledge, computing power, and insights to solve difficult problems. The regional winners, Mavuno Link, have embodied the Call for Code Challenge to have developers ambitiously tackle the pressing issues we are currently facing during this pandemic using the power of Cloud, Digital, AI, blockchain, and IoT. I look forward seeing this application deployed across the region and would encourage other developers in Kenya and across the region, to submit their solutions to the next challenge as we aim to work together to solve some of the world’s most pressing issues,” said Caroline Mukiira Country General Manager - East Africa.