EcoPacha Bot

EcoPacha Bot

Our challenge, your solutions
challenge
winner

Sustainable learning with ecosocial impact

We are a sustainable Agrotech that delivers accesible and agro technical education to small family farmers in agroecological practices

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Team: EcoPacha Bot

Team members

Cinthia Stephanie Samame Lucas, Joel Angelo Flores Huincha, Marianne Alexandra Samame Lucas and Eugenia Nieto Malqui

Members roles and background

CEO: Cinthia Samame 

International Business ​Management ​Professional

Specialized in Customer Experience Management and Project Management.​

7 years of experience in innovation projects and international logistics.

 

CTO: Joel Flores

Mechatronics Engineering student.​

Experienced in Bots development, IA, Programming and Project Development

 

CSO: Marianne Samame

Environmental Management Engineering student​

Experienced in Clean and Productive Technologies​

Specialized in Environmental Monitoring

 

COO: Eugenia Nieto

Biologist and educator ​

Experienced in educational systems and natural sciences teaching

Contact details

cinthia.samame@outlook.com

Solution description

ECOPACHA BOT is an agroecological and technical training service based on a Whatsapp bot that aims to democratize technical knowledge in a simplified and automated way to facilitate access to technical education and help the small family farmers to improve their quality of life conditions as this is their main income source. This solution will be powered by IA that will be connected to multiple databases to solve users' problems by providing agroecological solutions.

This service will improve digital education in the agricultural sector, as it provides technical training to small family farmers about a variety of agricultural issues they face in the rural communities located in all regions of Peru by providing sustainable solutions. 

On the other hand, we seek to attract senior university students from key areas (agricultural science, biology, environmental engineering, anthropology and education) to actively participate in the research and organization of the technical information of the ECOPACHA BOT database.

The success of the solution could be measured by the number of active users of the ECOPACHA BOT and their degree of satisfaction when using the chatbot to solve their doubts on agricultural issues. Additionally, the degree of implementation of the solutions offered by the bot in the user's life.

Solution context

Small family farmers:

  • 2.2 MM of small family farmers feel disempowered and excluded from aspiring to a better socio-economic situation since they don't possess technical knowledge to solve their problems in an effective, economical and simplified way.
  • The scarce opportunities for small family farmers translate into low family income and, as a result, the migration from rural areas, jeopardizing national food security, natural resource conservation activities and the loss of ancestral knowledge and practices. 
  • Only 11,000 agricultural units (60%) receive technical training from the government, leaving out the remaining 40%.
  • They face a bureaucratic barrier: government do not allow all farmers to access, as they demand bureaucratic requirements such as membership in a producers' association.

Government entities:

  • National government applies conventional solutions that require high investment of technical equipment and personnel is not enough to reach all the communities in need (difficult access due to remote location of rural communities in Peru).
  • Expenditure in training USD 9 MM, which includes salaries, logistic costs related, travelling time and associated expenditure to commute (AgroRural program is only capable to train 11K farming units - leaving unattended near 40% of farmers).

Solution target group

The target groups of our solution are:

  • End users: Small family farmers representing 2.2 MM across the country of Peru, and we will begin to serve the current underserved group of 40% excluded from training.
  • Customer segment: Government entities such as departments of agriculture, education and environment, local and regional governments. They need efficient investment of public resources.

The benefits for the small family farmers with the ECOPACHA BOT:

  • We would serve the 40% of small farmers excluded by promoting a participatory role into full sustainable development while coping with climate change that affects their lands by participating in a resilient and regenerative production model.
  • We achieve inclusion in digital education by reaching more people who urgently need it. We also develop practical skills and technical capabilities that enable them to act directly in their environment
  • We would help them improve their main income source, while also preserving their food security which has been widely endangered by the climate crisis affecting their lands.

The benefits for the government entities with the ECOPACHA BOT:

  • To connect the needs of efficient investment in development of technical capacities to have direct impact reaching the highest amount of beneficiary families.
  • To generate savings of USD 6MM+ to Peruvian government and helping them to more effectively achieve their National Agricultural Policy for developing small family agriculture and reaching the complete national territory of population.

Solution impact

The impact of the ECOPACHA BOT includes the following topics:

Environmental impact:

Our solution will promote sustainable agriculture through the application of ecological solutions to agricultural problems that may arise in the field and will benefit the environment. These benefits include improved soil fertility, greater land productivity, carbon sequestration through agroecological practices, and a reduction in environmental impact through ecological and sustainable techniques.

We will measure it by the difference in the additional amount of carbon capture TON due to agroecological practices vs. conventional agriculture.

Digital technical education impact:

It supports the axes of technological innovation, educational competitiveness and integral care for rural populations. Our solution looks for providing technical agricultural knowledge to the small family farmers in need. ECOPACHA BOT will have a linked database in which additional information can be added through continuous feedback between the technical team and the farmers. Ancestral knowledge and local practices will be rescued to solve agricultural problems since we are looking for a technological and democratized transfer of knowledge. The information collected in the database will reach the people who request it, more specifically, people who want to be informed or seek solutions to problems that may arise in the field. 

Governmental impact:

With our solution, the government will be able to provide early and massive training to small family farmers in the country (including remote areas, rural communities), only a basic cell phone and WhatsApp application would be needed.

Agricultural training programs do not reach all regions of the nation, and it also involves a heavy administrative expense. 

The ECOPACHA BOT has no bureaucratic barriers to access its agricultural training services, nor would there be any discrimination based on the size of the agricultural units. It will seek to serve all family farmers, who represent 83% of family farm workers. 

We will impact directly by strongly driving the advancement of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy towards the agriculture sector becoming a strategic ally of the government and we will achieve an even greater impact as we are also executing key areas of the National Family Farming Plan.

Solution tweet text

ECOPACHA BOT, a sustainable learning solution to democratize technical education for small family farmers while achieving ecosocial impact.

Solution innovativeness

The ECOPACHA BOT is an opportunity to access agricultural technical information from any cell phone, the innovation of the application is in its creation concept. 

The use of a CHATBOT to bring agricultural technical knowledge to rural communities is a novel proposal. This project opens endless possibilities, since it would be promoting training and democratization of agricultural knowledge that could have a positive impact on rural communities. 

Similar solutions have been proposed in the market; for example, there is training in agricultural techniques via virtual applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, Teams and others. The problem with these applications is that not all people in rural areas use them, and their use requires high technological requirements in the user's cell phone that could complicate their installation compared to the requirements for using WhatsApp. The ECOPACHA BOT can be used in WhatsApp, taking advantage of a massively used app, compared to others and does not require any additional installation.

As an innovation in the service, there is also a continuous monitoring and advice to the user if they allow it. In the application it will be possible to upload photos of, for example, the pests that affect a type of crop, this will help to improve the ECOPACHA BOT database. Through a comparison of photos of pests identified and sent to the application, it will be possible to better identify the most distressing problems in the region. It will also be possible to find better solutions to the problems and improve user service through accessible and enjoyable experiences.

Solution transferability

The ECOPACHA BOT will seek to solve agricultural problems according to the user's region; this concept can be applied to solve problems in other sectors such as the livestock or aquaculture sector.

There is also a need to bring technical knowledge in the aquaculture and livestock sector closer to users in rural areas of the country. 

For example, the problems that fish farmers might face could be solved by means of an application that would guide them in solving their setbacks. This application, such as the ECOPACHA BOT, will categorize the problems according to the region and the species concerned in order to provide a series of effective and sustainable solutions to the problem faced by the user. Similarly, this same concept could be extrapolated to various productive sectors of the country. 

Finally, we can easily expand to serve other countries with a huge amount of small family farmers especially in LATAM and other regions of the world that are facing agricultural problems worsened by the climate crisis.

Solution sustainability

Medium term: In the first stage will focus in Peru regions and after two years in LATAM

It is expected that in the first 6 months the application will be developed and all the administrative procedures for its use will be covered.

After that, a minimum of 6 months will be needed to develop the database and improve it with agricultural knowledge from every region of the country. It should be kept in mind that the database will be continuously updated as new information collected by agricultural experts is added. We will also include information from agricultural sciences books, encyclopedias and scientific papers related to agroecology practices.

The testing process of the ECOPACHA BOT will take 2 months to evaluate its functionality, its scope of solution to various user problems and whether it meets the requirements to start applying it at the national level.  

Long term: Expansion to other related sectors such as aquaculture and livestock sectors and B2B markets

We will expand our serving markets by taking advantage of every open database from agriculture departments in each LATAM country we seek to start operations in. We will also improve our technology by exploring merge between blockchain and other exponential technologies to expand even more to other sectors and serve B2B markets. 

Solution team work

Our team's life aspiration is to design and build for a resilient planet based on a truly collaborative environment, transparency and growth mindset.

We have all known each other for many years and this helps us to face challenges in a resilient and genuine way as we support each other. 

Our work in the hackathon was very intense and full of challenges that we solved as a team through assertive communication, empathy and great accountability as a self-managed team. 

We have outstanding key skills in several areas that strengthen and complement each other in a multidisciplinary way since our university education and specialization includes disciplines such as: environmental management engineering, business, customer experience, biology, education, mechatronics engineering and artificial intelligence.

We also have experience in the creation and development of projects with an environmental focus, which have been developed applying human centered design principles and methods with an agile and growth mindset.

The basis of our project embraces inclusive digital education and sustainable development through agroecology, relying on AI technology as an enabler of change. 

We seek to achieve a social and environmental impact, detecting gaps as an opportunity to explore and develop new sustainable and responsible alternatives to the problems of their environment.

Our main purpose as a team is to democratize the agrotechnical knowledge and preserve the ecosystems to build resilient communities around the world.

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DigiEduHack 2021 partners & supporters

DigiEduHack is an EIT initiative under the European Commission's Digital Education Action Plan, led by EIT Climate-KIC and coordinated by Aalto University. In 2021, the main stage event is hosted by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in cooperation with the International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence (IRCAI) under the auspices of UNESCO.

EIT Climate-Kic

Aalto University

European commission

Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport

International Research Center on Artificial Intelligence

EIT Community: Human Capital