Most perceptions surrounding farming in the region are toughing it out under the scorching sun and undertaking hard manual labour in the middle of an open field.
But times are changing. Recent innovations in agriculture aren’t restricted to upgrading farming equipment – but the use of digital technology to enhance farming systems and productivity.
Enter SPROUT (iQ), a mobile app developed by local smart farming startup AGROME IQ, guides you through farming processes and teaches you the fundamentals of starting your own farm, regardless where you are.
Officially launched at Progresif Cellular’s headquarters in Gadong yesterday, the app is aimed at urban farmers – people living in cities and towns with no access to large plots of land but want to utilize available space into sustainable farms.
It could be in a pot or on a small patch of land in your backyard, the app aims to provide useful information and guide you through the different stages of growing your crop with daily reminders and notifications.
Founder of AGROME IQ Vanessa Teo (pictured main) said that by providing growers accurate, understandable information – anyone will be able to farm – paving the way for a society that’s more self-sufficient in food security.
“We also hope that SPROUT (iQ) builds a community of urban farmers who can share ideas, initiate discussions to further improve their farm and trade products,” said Teo, who holds a PhD in Agricultural Modelling.
She added that the SPROUT (iQ) platform is delivered through day-long workshops, each focusing on one crop, which the public can sign up for at www.agromeiq.com.
During the workshop the participants will have the mobile app installed on their phones and will be given seeds as part of a starter kit. The first workshop begins in August – starting with chilli, tomato, corn, eggplant and ending with peppers in December.
Dayu Dara Permata, the Vice President of Go-Jek – Indonesia’s first startup to be valued at over USD 1 billion – attended the launch, highlighting Vanessa’s solution as one that can be scaled and exported to ASEAN countries.
“Where I am coming from (Indonesia) farmers suffer from low crop productivity, even harvests failure due to a knowledge gap and poor farming practices. AGROME IQ could address these pain points,” said Dayu, who met Teo at a conference a year ago. “With her (Teo’s) passion, capability, technical know-how, access to resources and the right network I believe AGROME IQ will make a dent in the world.”
Teo added that through Progresif’s support Wasan Vocational School and two other selected schools – will be amongst the first to undertake the SPROUT (iQ) courses.
Visit www.agromeiq.com to register or learn more. You can also follow @agromeiq on Instagram.