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Pastoral – a Precision Livestock Farming platform for Low-and-Middle-Income Countries

Pastoral is a ‘basic-as-possible’ subscription precision digital farming (PLF) product designed to deliver the core agricultural data needed for farmers in Low-and-Middle-Income countries, focusing on customers positioned at the base of the global agri-tech pyramid. Engineered in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Pastoral is the world’s first PLF tool for the many, not the few.

Pastoral was designed by Karakoram Innovation, a UK-based developmental venture consultancy, who apply entrepreneurial thinking, strategy, design, and engineering to create breakthrough ventures for the world’s most challenging humanitarian challenges. Karakoram does this through a deep focus on empathy, optimism, and applying creativity to complement analytical reasoning. This focus enables us to work through ambiguity with confidence—designing and enabling new products, services, experiences, and new ventures that solve humanitarian or developmental challenges.

At Karakoram, we have a five-day process for taking a product from design through prototyping and testing called a ‘Sprint’, which was used to kickstart Pastoral.

Incubated from 2020 to 2021 in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) “[email protected] program for Innovation in Sustainable Agriculture,” Pastoral is the world’s first digital farming platform for rural, low connectivity, low-technology, and low-cost countries. Pastoral uses low-cost 2G/LoRA IoT sensors, open-source satellite data, and leveraging common chat services such as Telegram.

Farmers in wealthier countries use precision farming tools to mitigate many negative impacts of climate change, offering them the tools to pivot their behavior quickly based on up-to-date land and weather information. Farmers in lower-income countries are denied this type of data, relying on traditional, generational methods for animal control which are often out-of-date with a changing climate. There is no cultural vocabulary for navigating these climate changes, leading to illegal land use, banditry, and increased agricultural violence as livestock farmers fight over decreasing agricultural resources.

Pastoral increases livestock farmer profit, offers more sustainable herding patterns, decreases agricultural-based violence, and reduces land degradation in countries most impacted by climate change and competition from the global market.

Combined, these result in livestock farmers in lower-income countries falling further and further behind those in wealthier ones, with little research and development of tools for their specific needs. Karakoram Innovation designed pastoral, a UK-based developmental innovation venture builder, and incubated by the UNDP ‘[email protected]’ program for Innovation in Sustainable Agriculture. With pre-seed funding from UNDP Innovation and Karakoram, Pastoral has spent the summer of 2021 in critical engineering and viability field tests in rural Uzbekistan, culminating in the first field-ready prototypes.

Pastoral uses chat services such as Telegram as the primary way to communicate agricultural information to farmers, including details such as animal locations, grass growth, water saturation, and essential animal health information. Offering unprecedented access to previously inaccessible data, Pastoral offers farmers the minimum data required to drive more sustainable farming practices, leading to better animal product yield and more profit for their work. Future iterations of the platform will add additional sensors, such as animal weight, water intake, and feed sensors, all available through the chatbot interface.

Pastoral has now graduated from early-stage viability trials and is in active development as part of an 18 month accelerated product development phase in 2022.

Projects evaluation criteria

Level of Impact
40%
Scalability
30%
Transparency
20%
H-Factor
10%

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VOTES

Gabriele

8.75

Josh

10.00

Josh

10.00

Barbara

10.00

Cherie

10.00

Khyatee

9.75

Christina

10.00

Sabokhat

10.00

Shea

10.00

Namoz

9.75

Peter

9.75

Anurag

10.00

Cherise

10.00

Laura

10.00

eduardo

10.00

Andrew

9.50

Susan

10.00

Unkyung

10.00

Jen

10.00

Farrukh

10.00

Rafael

10.00

Kyla

10.00

Allyson

10.00

Adam

10.00

Natalie

10.00

Chelsea

10.00

Jillian

10.00

Erin

10.00

Mohammed

10.00

Alex

10.00

Jessica

10.00

Andrew

10.00

Christina

10.00

Paulina

9.50

Saaman

9.75

Nancy

10.00

John

10.00

Aislinn

10.00

Jess

10.00

Wendy

10.00

Drew

8.75

Drew

10.00

John

10.00

Jennifer

10.00

Gandhar

10.00

Ryan

10.00

Algirdas

1.00

Graziano

10.00

David

10.00

Kamil

10.00

Lyndon

8.50

Brad

10.00

Taylor

10.00

Pat

10.00

Shonoy

9.00

Davide

10.00

Ignacio

9.75

Gaukhar

10.00

Benjamin

9.50

Luca

10.00

Daniel

10.00

Dawna

10.00

Charikleia

10.00

Yonah

10.00

Vulcan

9.75

Olufemi

10.00

Sita

9.50

Kazik

10.00

Owen

9.75

Piers

10.00

Tyler

10.00

Manuel

9.50

Nikki

10.00

Josh

10.00

Testaverde

8.75

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