Seedlink

Measuring your pesticide use is as easy as 1,2,3; swab it, measure it, sort it!

A cheap and easy to use colour changing swab that allows small-scale farmers to measure their pesticide use.

Use Case

A large percentage of cocoa exported from West Africa is rejected because of high levels of pesticide residue. Yet close to 50% of cocoa trees are still destroyed by pests. Farmers do not know how much pesticides they should be using. They either use too much or too little. Seedlink is a cheap and easy to use colour changing swab that allows farmers to measure their pesticide use. A farmer places the swab in his soil while crops are growing, or in bags of cocoa after harvesting, to test the pesticide level. The farmer can now better manage his pesticide use and spray only what is needed. He can also demand a higher price for his cocoa if he knows it can be exported.

Potential

Farmers rely on input providers to tell them how to use pesticides. These input providers have incentives to encourage farmers to overuse pesticides. We plan to disrupt current methods of pesticide use by putting information in the hands of the farmer and allowing him to assess his own pesticide needs. 1- Providing a tool as intuitive and simple to use as a colour changing swab has the capability to drastically reduce pesticide use. 2- It allows farmers to differentiate their product and demand higher prices. 3- Reduces waste along the supply chain. Cocoa is now tested at the source, instead of travelling along the supply chain, just to be rejected.

Business Case

Seedlink currently has two potential business models: 1. Sell the swabs to large cocoa processors such as Nestle who would distribute our swabs using their existing distribution channels. 2. Sell the swabs directly to farmers or cooperatives. In this case extra training may be needed, as well as a micro-financing scheme. Convincing cocoa traders to pay more for cocoa which passes our test will act as a direct incentive for the farmer to buy our swabs. We estimate each swab to cost roughly $0.10.

Objectives:

  1. Reduce harmful pesticide use
  2. Empower farmers with information
  3. Reduce waste of crops

Team Seedlink

Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Our Team

Meet our Team! / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Meet our Team!

We're a friendly bunch from all over the world; meet the Seedlink team!

-Arjun Vijeta (India): Arjun is currently studying towards his PhD in Chemistry.

-J. Luiz de Andrade (Brazil): Luiz is currently finishing his MBA. He has worked within agribusiness for 6 years.

-Muhammad Altalib (South Africa): Having grown up in Malawi and South Africa, Muhammad has worked on several sustainable farming projects. He is finishing his bachelor’s in business management.

-Mutum Yaikhomba (India): Mutum is a current Gates Scholar studying towards his PhD in Biochemistry.

-Saemi Matsumoto (Japan): Saemi is finishing her MBA with plans to work for the UN.

We come 1st place in the Cambridge Food Security Challenge! / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

We come 1st place in the Cambridge Food Security Challenge!

100 Participants
15 Teams
1 Winner: Seedlink!

Making use of each other's skills / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Making use of each other's skills

Something we realised early on was harnessing the skills each of us on the team had. We all had such a diverse range of skills and knowledge and it was important for us to make use of them. It was also important to split up tasks and assign roles to everyone. Creating a map of what we needed to achieve and then breaking that down into specific tasks really helped. We all voted on how to split it up and our productivity went through the roof!

Take a Break / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Take a Break

So we're stuck. We just spent two full days, 12 hours of working straight and we're at a roadblock. Our team was divided between two big ideas and we didn't know what to do. Neither seemed too compelling, we knew there was something there but it was too broad. There was only one thing left to do...

TO THE PUB!

Progress / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Progress

That feeling when you feel all your hard work, frustration, and arguments are finally paying off. We've narrowed down our scope, then narrowed down again, and have finally come up with what seems like a credible solution to a big problem. From Africa, to West Africa. From all crops to cocoa. From compliance to harmful residue to pesticides. From electronic devices to a simple paper swab.

Sometimes it's better to take your grand vision and scale it down to something so simple you can actually accomplish it.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help small-scale farmers take back control of their pesticide use. We stand for the 3 million cocoa farmers in West Africa who have for too long not been getting their fair share of the cocoa they produce. By empowering farmers with the ability to manage their own pesticides, we allow farmers to make more money from the cocoa they sell and reduce the amount of harmful pesticides being sprayed into the environment.

Our Background

We are a diverse team from Cambridge University. All of us come from developing nations and all of us recognise the importance of using our skills to build up our home communities. Coming together, we started to explore the various challenges faced in the developing world. And Harnessing our skills, we started looking for solutions. Seedlink is the culmination of that effort, and we hope to use the resources of the TFF challenge to help make our solution a reality.

Meet our Team! / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Meet our Team!

We're a friendly bunch from all over the world; meet the Seedlink team!

-Arjun Vijeta (India): Arjun is currently studying towards his PhD in Chemistry.

-J. Luiz de Andrade (Brazil): Luiz is currently finishing his MBA. He has worked within agribusiness for 6 years.

-Muhammad Altalib (South Africa): Having grown up in Malawi and South Africa, Muhammad has worked on several sustainable farming projects. He is finishing his bachelor’s in business management.

-Mutum Yaikhomba (India): Mutum is a current Gates Scholar studying towards his PhD in Biochemistry.

-Saemi Matsumoto (Japan): Saemi is finishing her MBA with plans to work for the UN.

We come 1st place in the Cambridge Food Security Challenge! / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

We come 1st place in the Cambridge Food Security Challenge!

100 Participants
15 Teams
1 Winner: Seedlink!

Making use of each other's skills / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Making use of each other's skills

Something we realised early on was harnessing the skills each of us on the team had. We all had such a diverse range of skills and knowledge and it was important for us to make use of them. It was also important to split up tasks and assign roles to everyone. Creating a map of what we needed to achieve and then breaking that down into specific tasks really helped. We all voted on how to split it up and our productivity went through the roof!

Take a Break / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Take a Break

So we're stuck. We just spent two full days, 12 hours of working straight and we're at a roadblock. Our team was divided between two big ideas and we didn't know what to do. Neither seemed too compelling, we knew there was something there but it was too broad. There was only one thing left to do...

TO THE PUB!

Progress / Published May 6, 2018 by Muhammad Altalib

Progress

That feeling when you feel all your hard work, frustration, and arguments are finally paying off. We've narrowed down our scope, then narrowed down again, and have finally come up with what seems like a credible solution to a big problem. From Africa, to West Africa. From all crops to cocoa. From compliance to harmful residue to pesticides. From electronic devices to a simple paper swab.

Sometimes it's better to take your grand vision and scale it down to something so simple you can actually accomplish it.

Our Team

Our Mission

Our mission is to help small-scale farmers take back control of their pesticide use. We stand for the 3 million cocoa farmers in West Africa who have for ...Read More

Our Background

We are a diverse team from Cambridge University. All of us come from developing nations and all of us recognise the importance of using our skills to build ...Read More

Our Badges

  • Power Team
    Your team has at least three members
  • Design Lab Experts
    Attended at least one of the weekly TFF Design Lab “office hours” sessions.
  • We Famous
    Your project has been covered by your university or other media outlet
  • Get #Social
    Created team Facebook or Twitter page and attached to team page
  • Fan Club
    You have 100 likes or followers on your team Facebook or Twitter
  • Interior Architect
    Posted three pictures of your team workspace
  • Idea Parkers
    Shared a picture of your teams unique “idea parking”
  • Global Foodies
    Posted three facts about global food issues learned in the Explore mode
  • Insight + Insight + Insight
    Shared three new insights your team formulated in the Define mode
  • On Time, On Target
    Shared your Design Statement created during the Define mode
  • Post-it Fiends
    Shared pics of the chaos of the post-it filled Ideate work mode
  • Brain Food
    In the Ideate intro video, Richard shares an important tip while eating an apple. Share a team-apple-eating pic!
  • Expert Input
    Shared three pieces of expert feedback on your concept
  • GIF Masters
    Shared a GIF of the prototype building frenzy
  • Live Testing
    Shared a video of a user testing your concept
  • Way To Go
    Shared a picture of your plan for iterating your project
  • Etch-A-Sketch
    Shared your logo sketching session on your team blog
  • WE DID IT!!
    Submitted Final Pitch, including videos and concept details
  • Introduction
    Completed the Introduction section of the Design Lab
  • Explore
    Completed the Explore section of the Design Lab
  • Define
    Completed the Define section of the Design Lab
  • Ideate
    Completed the Ideate section of the Design Lab
  • Conceptualize
    Completed the Conceptualize section of the Design Lab
  • Prototype
    Completed the Prototype section of the Design Lab
  • Test
    Completed the Test section of the Design Lab
  • Iterate
    Completed the Iterate section of the Design Lab
  • Pitch
    Completed the Pitch section of the Design Lab
The information contained here represents student project ideas developed as the result of brainstorming activities during Round 1 of the TFF Challenge. It does not represent any final business plans or commercial products.