Usman Javaid, CEO and Co-Founder of Ricult joined us for a daftarkhwan fireside session to share his mission and foray into disruption in the agricultural sector. Founded in 2015, the rapidly growing tech startup has been internationally acknowledged and appreciated as seen by being gold medalists for the MIT China Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum. Competing with 300 startups from 80 countries Ricult won the Innovative Ideas and Technology on Agribusiness by United Nations Industrial Developmental Organization (UNIDO) and most recently, was awarded the World Summit Award, out of 180 participating UN states, for being one of the world’s best digital solutions in the Environment and Green Energy category for the UN SDG.
Ricult, operating in the US, Thailand and Pakistan, is a data analytics platform that uses AI and machine learning to force data from agricultural value chains, then processed on their proprietary algorithms, to generate actionable insights for the entire ecosystem. Ricult prizes productivity and profitability, aiming to help those who work hard day in and day out to help us at the most fundamental level, sustenance.
“More work here is understanding the pain points of the farmers rather than building the tech,” Usman empathizes.
According to statistics provided by the World Bank 75% of the world’s poor are farmers, 83% of which are smallholder farmers, concentrated in Asia, Africa and South America. Worldwide two main problems seem to plague farmers 1) the lack of access to information and 2) the lack of access to capital. Smallholder farmers are vulnerable to exploitation by middle men, feudalism and existing power structures eager to retain control which often lands farmers in a perpetual cycle of poverty and dependency.
According to McKinsey’s report, globally agriculture is the least digitized industry with limited attempts at advancement. Graduated from MIT and having worked with Engro Corporation and mobile agriculture, Usman combined his two winning expertise to make a difference in an industry essential to human life.
“Technology is not the answer to problems. How you embed technology in a solution to address problems is the real deal.”
With the help of satellite imaging, weather analytics and other associated stakeholders actually on the ground, Ricult provides its customers with not just solutions but also predictions of the future and trends that helps them adapt their farming and avoid losses. Currently 466,732 farmers benefit from their services with an average of a 1000 users joining the platform per day.
To learn more about Ricult and the waves it’s making watch the full fireside session here.