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Pitch us on your solution
Small dairy farmers cannot afford smart farming methods. As a result they try to predict heating cycles manually and often miss the perfect time of insemination that incurs huge financial loss. Besides, they don't have any disease prediction system for the cattle. Besides, heat stress also reduces milk production.
We have come up with smart trackers that will gather data of cow health continuously. These data will be stored in the cloud and then processed reports will be sent to the dairy farmer via SMS. We are going to provide smart solution for better cow health, farm management and milk production.
14% of our total workforce is involved in this livestock management sector. So, better farming and maximized production will better the scenario of the entire livestock industry. This will definitely bring a positive change in the lives of our countrymen.
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What is the problem you are solving?
90% of the Bangladeshi dairy farmers own less than 20 cows. They are basically poor marginalized farmers. They are the worst victim of any sort of pricing mechanism in dairy industry. There is a huge gap in the demand and production of milk in our country and the amount is 6 million tons per year. To cover up this gap, powder milk of 200 crore taka is imported every year. Taxation on this import is discarding the small farmers from the game. If tax on powder milk is not increased, in next financial year small farmers will lose business of 974 crores taka.
Bangladesh Diary Farmers Association, a parent body of dairy farmers in Bangladesh, has 76,000 enlisted members. The number of cattle in Bangladesh is near about 2O million. Any negativity in this sector largely harms most of the people of the country.
The most prominent reason behind the misery of the small farmers is the inefficient farm management. They often miss the heating cycle and fail to predict any disease. We are developing a smart solution to encounter these problems. Our real time data tracking and alarm system will enhance the better farming skills of the farmer.
Who are you serving?
Inefficient farming is the problem that’s why small dairy farmers are losing business. We have approached them to find out the reason that why they predict heating cycles and diseases manually instead of using modern technologies. The answer is simple, affordability. Usually a dairy farmer in Bangladesh, spends around 8000 BDT for a cow per year for medication, nutrition and other purposes. But the pricing of the available solutions are far more than this margin. We have approached farmers from marginal backgrounds, discussed with the NGOs working for them, visited the agricultural varsities and finally come up with this solution.
Our solution will help the farmer to trace the heating cycle, predict diseases and monitor the behavior and activity level of the cow. As a result, farmer will be concerned of the upcoming events related to the cow. Then he will take measures accordingly. For example, he will inseminate the cow if the heating period starts. To break the unaffordability barrier, we have thought for a subscription based pricing model where the farmer won’t pay a chunk of money at a time. That’s how we are trying to reach the needs of the dairy farmers.
What is your solution?
Our target is to provide a full proof 360 degree solution for the dairy sector. That’s why we have come up with hardware, software and consultancy services.
In case of hardware devices, there is a collar that is to be placed over the neck of the cow. It is an IoT enabled smart device. It will track 3 types of data. They are: body temperature, cow behavior and activity. From this device these data will be will be transmitted to a central server of us via a GSM enabled hub.
With the help of dairy experts and data scientists, a standard behavioral pattern of the cows have been determined. If there is any declination from the standard data, it will be noted accordingly. Reports will be generated for the farmers and will be sent to them as mobile texts. Mobile application is also available for those who own smart phones. For large farms, we have a tab with our own OS (operating system) that has a complete farm management software installed in it. The farmer will easily track everything related to the cow via it.
Now, for example, a SMS is being sent to the farmer which says that the heating period will occur tomorrow. So what to do now? We have our own smart artificial insemination tool. This is camera enabled and easily accessible via mobile camera. Thus the insemination process will take place.
Moreover if there is any disease prediction, our app will be channeled to a call center which will arrange veterinary doctors for the cow. For the farmers, who don’t have smart phones, can directly make a call in the hotline and can be got facilitated.
We have used IoT (internet of things), image processing and Machine Learning technology in our solution. Data analytics is a major part of our model. Hopefully we will bring predictive models to optimize the complete dairy supply chain.
Select only the most relevant.
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Dhaka, Bangladesh
In which sector would you categorize your solution?
If you selected Other, please explain here.
Technology because our solution uses IoT, machine learning, data analytics and image processing.
Describe what makes your solution innovative.
The most innovative sides of our solution are:
- There is no existing data set for the local cow breeds in our country. We are the one who are building it firstly. This data set will change the scenario of dairy tech industry of Bangladesh.
- Our pricing model is innovative. We are not incurring any initial device charge rather going in a subscription model which will take a very low amount of money from the farmer.
- We have strategic partners who have made our market penetration easier and more feasible.
Why do you expect your solution to address the problem?
The basic issue why our farmers are lagging behind is that they predict everything manually. So, troubleshooting can be done if there is a predictive solution. Our solution directly predicts breeding cycle, disease and heat stress. After indication comes action part. For example, a farmer knows his cow is going to fall sick. So what's next? He should contact a veterinary doctor. So, we have integrated a helpline where they can call for a veterinary doctor. Then if they need medicine, we are trying to occupy the doctor with medicine and nutritional components via a strategic partnership with a third party vendor. Then, if he can predict the breeding cycle, he needs to inseminate his cow. Because one breeding cycle miss results into miss of 1 calve and milk of 21 days. So, we have designed an artificial gun in our product pool. Actually, we are trying to push a one stop solution for all sorts of dairy issues. Here, I have attached some research papers based on what we have planned this solution.
Select the key characteristics of the population in Bangladesh your solution serves.
How many people are you currently serving with your solution? How many will you be serving in one year? How about in five years?
Currently we are in the pilot phase and our solution is being deployed on 20 cows at different places. They are in controlled dairies in varsities, in rural environment and in commercial farms also.
Our target is to reach 500 cows in the first year and 100,000 cows within the 5th year which is the 0.5% of the whole industry.
73% of the farm owners own less than 11 cows in their farms. According to that we are going to reach 50 farms in the first year and near about 10,000 farms within the 5th year.
What are your goals within the next year and within the next five years?
There are 20 million cows in our country which are used for milking purpose. Our target is to reach 0.5% of them within the 5th year. When we will have a dataset of 100,000 cows and all from our local breeds, then we will develop a predictive model for the whole dairy supply chain. It will start suggesting about the feed, maintenance and well-being of the cow. So, a complete data driven farming will be introduced in case of dairy and that'll increase our production and ensure traceability. In that point, we can give consultancy to the cow feed producers, medicine providers, doctors. In a nutshell, the whole dairy ecosystem will be reachable. Thus the farmers and largely the consumers will be benefited.
What are the barriers that currently exist for you to accomplish your goals for the next year and for the next five years?
The existing barriers -
1. Dairy tech requires rural market penetration. But as a tech start up, we have lack of marketing and sales force to make this happen.
2. To on board the customer, we have planned for a subscription based pricing model. This will make the payback period longer. So we need a strong monetary back-up to continue till then.
3. The target consumers are not that much tech savvy. So, we need to break the cultural barrier to adopt new technologies.
How are you planning to overcome these barriers?
1. We need expert marketers who are present in this market for a certain period of time. So, for the initial phase we have associated with a NGO and the parent organization of the dairy farmers. In this time, we will train and develop a dedicated marketing force.
2. Actually we are offering the subscription model for the collar. Because it is too expensive to bear at a time. But once the customer gets on boarded, he will be purchasing medicine, nutrients, artificial insemination tools via my solution. So one customer will pay in different channels within the basic product price comes to us.
3. Our solution should include training and interactive sessions with the farmers. We should give them the feel that this is the tool to turn them into businessmen from the farmers.
Select an option below:Other e.g. part of a larger organization (please explain below)
If you selected Other for the organization question, please explain here.
Trovasys Limited is the larger organization. We, 5 friends started this venture from February, 2019. Trovasys works with customized engineering solutions. IoT, machine learning, data analytics are the core focus areas. All the hardware and software support required for "khamar-e" are developed by Trovasys Limited. Trovasys Limited wants to act like a dedicated solution partner for khamar-e and khamar-e will look after all other action plans required for this venture. This will include marketing, customer acquisition, fund raising, sales, arranging strategic partners.
How many people work on your solution team?
Hameed Hasan Alvee (Director & Production Lead)
Diptha Saha (Director & Business Lead)
Abdullah Abyad Raied (Director & Technology Lead)
Faisal Ibn Noor (Director & Strategy Lead)
Shahruk Hossain (Director & Research Lead)
Shuvro Prokash Mojumder (System Engineer)
Moshiur Rahman (Sourcing Manager)
Sagar Dash (Backend Application Developer)
Toufiqul Islam Sady (Junior Software Engineer)
Sabiha Tasnim Nishy (Research executive, Agriculture) Abdullah Azwad Rafeed (Marketing Executive)
For how many years have you been working on your solution?
Why are you and your team best-placed to deliver this solution?
We have a cross-functional team where the team members have the relevant experiences. One of our team member is expert in embedded system software and has the experience of leading an IT team of 16 people. We have the experience of working in machine learning and artificial intelligence in our team. We have a person who has the experience of developing a globally award winning businesses focused to the marginalized people. We have the experience of working directly on sales in our team. We have agricultural expert, marketing guy, software enthusiast, data scientist and managerial body in our team. So, we are the team that eventually satisfies all the aspects to pull off this venture.
With what organizations are you currently partnering, if any? How are you working with them?
We have partnered with Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) and an NGO, Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) to run the pilot project. There BAU will provide the academic and research support and BIID will be the documentation, activation and publication partner.
We are working with another company, Animal Care. It is a dairy service provider company. We are collaboratively doing a few things like-
A hotline to connect the farmers with the veterinary doctors.
Creating an access to medicines and nutrients to the farmers.
Proper insemination support to the farmers.
What is your path to financial sustainability?
We will try to manage funds via
- Investments against equity
- Hardware sales
- Software as a Service
Our existing products will need 4 years and 8 months to reach the pay back period. This period is eventually longer because we are not charging for the device initially rather we are going on a subscription based model. But we will eventually sell other services and products to the same customer. But these products and services are under processing. So, break even will decrease and it will be somewhat around 3 years.
Why are you applying to the Tiger Challenge?
We are expecting a few specific things from Tiger Challenge -
1. khamar-e is an investment savvy business. Tiger Challenge is undoubtedly the best possible platform to raise funding.
2. Rural market penetration needs time, effort and mentorship. Tiger IT will hopefully arrange a platform to attempt these things.
3. This is the service where data will be the currency. So, we have to develop the ecosystem to generate money from predictive models and consultancy based services. It will take at least 5 years. So, we need a constant partner in this journey who will pave this journey not will only money, but also with distribution channels, strategic partnerships.
4. Eventually we want to expand outside of the country. This is the right platform for doing so.
What types of connections and partnerships would be most catalytic for your solution?
With what organizations would you like to partner, and how would you like to partner with them?
We want to partner with
1. NGOs who have widespread reach in the rural areas. They can be our effective partners in distribution channel.
2. Government has lots of incentives for technological integration in agricultural sector. So they can be potential partners.
3. We need GSM enabled connectivity while deploying. So, telco can be a potential partner.