Impact Terra, a Myanmarese agriculture-tech startup, today announced that it has secured nearly US$3 million in a financing round, which includes grants from Geodata for Agriculture and Water (G4AW) facility and venture philanthropy organisation Leap201.
The Netherlands Space Office (NSO), through its G4AW facility, recently confirmed its support for the Smart Agriculture Myanmar (SAM) project. SAM aims to utilise satellite-based insights to improve Golden Paddy’s farmer advice and stimulate micro-finance initiatives through credit-risk assessments. Impact Terra leads the project in collaboration with Satelligence, financial services advisory firm Financial Access and the Centre for Economic and Social Development. Agriculture research institute Wageningen University & Research complements the consortium.
“The SAM project focuses on bringing real-time and personalised crop timing, pest management and irrigation advice to smallholders, enabling them to significantly reduce crop loss. We will further develop our existing services and make those available to millions of farmers in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries,” said Impact Terra Founder and CEO Erwin Sikma.
In parallel, Impact Terra has received support from Leap201 for its On-Demand Advice (ODA) project. The project focuses on integrating image recognition into the Golden Paddy app, thereby enabling farmers to early identify pests and diseases. As this service is available on Golden Paddy’s existing platform, the farmer can also access information on what type of (organic) methods to use and where to find various products.
Founded in 2016 by Sikma, Impact Terra provides digital services to farmers and organisations.
For farmers, the company has developed an online platform called Golden Paddy, which consists of a mobile app, web app and a Facebook page. The platform is optimised for its beneficiaries based on the crop they grow, the location they live in and other characteristics.
The company provides personalised advice and services, such as early identification of pest and diseases and flood and drought warnings, to help farmers take informed decision, thereby improving productivity, market access and financial inclusion.
On the other hand, organisations get data reports with information on farmer profiles and price fluctuations of local markets.
“We are excited to partner with Impact Terra, as we see immense potential to improve the livelihoods of the 20 million smallholder farmers in Myanmar through access to timely and relevant agronomic advice,” said Michael Lien, LEAP201 Founder and Board Chairman.
In Myanmar, 37 million people (almost 70 per cent of the population) directly depend on farming. The mobile phone penetration is estimated at 80 per cent, and 70 per cent of the smallholder farmers are connected to the internet through their mobile. This means that there is an immense opportunity to easily reach an enormous group of people all over the country, region and world.
Currently, Impact Terra works only in Myanmar, but is planning to expand its reach to Thailand and Vietnam, other Southeast Asian countries, and eventually globally.