Who we are
The Farmer Management Modules is a product developed by TMP Systems. The Farmer Management Modules was developed as part of a LEGEND project delivered by a collaboration between Bonsucro and TMP Systems that was funded by DFID.
TMP Systems and Bonsucro know that measuring impact is vital to managing risk and improving performance. This is why TMP Systems and Bonsucro developed the Farmer Management Modules to provide a better approach to monitoring and reporting designed for small farmers in emerging markets. More accurate and timely farm-level information enables more effective management processes that deliver better commercial, environmental and social impacts. It also enables efficient, highly transparent monitoring of agricultural supply chains.
Why do we need tools like the Farmer Management Modules?
At present, brands, traders and large commodity producers struggle to say whether their operations drive human rights problems, like tenure disputes, or environmental damage, like deforestation. It is also difficult to identify the practices employed by farmers and how they can be made more efficient. This information barrier contributes to poor mutual understanding and unnecessary tension between farmers and their supply chain partners.
Smallholder sugarcane farmers, for example, face significant challenges in supplying mills with a consistently high quantity and quality of cane year on year. Most smallholder farmers have extremely limited resources to pursue new inputs or techniques, and many possess outdated knowledge on best practices. This creates a vicious circle where smallholders view changes in practice as costly or risky, in a world where margins are too narrow to accept any risk.
A large step towards breaking this cycle can be made by incorporating information technology in the day-to-day operations of farmers, associations and cooperatives. By showing that capturing data is easy and contributes to improvements in farm output, Farmer Management Modules improve farmers’ ability and willingness to make better and more informed decisions.
The Farmer Management Modules focus on the most pressing areas where productivity improvements within a sugarcane farm can be unlocked through better data collection. Due to the open source nature of the software used to operate the Farmers Management Modules, the cost is extremely low compared to competitors in the industry.
How Farmer Management Modules work
Each Farmer Management Module is a bespoke set of resources focused on particular aspects of farm management, that were created during an extensive consultation process with smallholder farmers, farmer associations and cooperatives. The modules provide farmers with training materials, guidance documents and templates of surveys that can be used to collect valuable data regarding farm inputs, boundary mapping, pest and disease control, and identification of staff through biometrics.
For each module, Module Materials provide a data collection system that can be adapted and used with open source software, including template surveys where needed. For each key element in the system, there is further guidance on using the software – such as SurveyCTO and QGIS – used during the testing phase. This documentation explains how to use the survey templates and develop your own surveys on SurveyCTO, with additional guidance describing how you can develop dashboards to view your data on.