This project began with a clear premise: the DNA should be digital and the main purpose is to bring innovation and social impact with viability to Angola. Although there was a little obstacle: the sector was yet to be decided. This was the first challenge we faced, as there was an ocean of possibilities to start a project focused on a country we knew so little about.
From where we stand, that was the true beauty of this discovery journey, together with an interested and highly optimistic customer.
That is how DecolaAgro was born.
DecolaAgro is an app focused on sharing knowledge within the Angolan agricultural sector. Its biggest goal is to make knowledge accessible among the numerous stakeholders (small and big producers, agricultural workers, universities, and so on), preparing Angola to leap from traditional farming into a more digital and modern agriculture.
Besides being highly focused on Human-Centered Design, our first step was, as expected, to define the sector where we would operate. After much brainstorming together with the client, we decided to focus completely on the agricultural sector.
The next phase was to dive deep into the reality of Angolan agriculture by researching, interviewing, and understanding the different perceptions, pain points, and expectations of all the agents involved: State, NGOs, small and large producers, agricultural workers, competitors, and so on. Considering all of this happened in the middle of the Covid-19 Pandemic, our trip to Angola was impossible to carry out, thus resulting in a 100% remote DPR (Digital Product Research).
In a more advanced phase, we faced a different challenge: how to combine digital innovation in a scenario of economic scarcity, lack of technological infrastructure, and, in some cases, even lack of knowledge?
The whole agricultural scenario was focused on the small and medium Angolan farmer, the public that was at the center of our entire Human-Centered Design process. Luckily, the DPR process is aimed exactly to discover innovation possibilities in any type of reality, as hard and impossible as it may appear. The interview process with local agents gave us clear clues as to what the crucial problem to solve would be. It also helped us to identify other issues and, with that, come up with a valuable digital and innovative solution.
With Load’s help and expertise, our client got a proposal that was fully aligned with the initial business goals and with the expected potential: an innovative solution specifically thought on the reality of small agricultural producers in Angola. To summarize, it is a freemium digital platform where everyone in the agricultural sector is connected together through knowledge. This close connection allows people to have access to courses and online consultancy, remotely, or in person, helping everyone, from the small producer to improve his agricultural performance in all stages of the process, up to the large producer who will be able to boost his business thanks to varied knowledge and include production support to smaller producers.
The solution brings parallel benefits, such as the retention of young people in agriculture or an alternative way out for agronomists trained in academies who sometimes struggle to put their learnings into practice. For this solution, local partnerships should be developed with academies, the State, and other partners that can contribute to content production.