In this episode, Michael Waitze speaks to Aukrit Unahalekhaka, Co-Founder and CEO, Thailand of Ricult, a company that helps farmers collect, analyse and interpret data from their farming activities, providing opportunities for improvement in harvest rates and more.
Originally coming from a IT development background, Aukrit started working as a software developer, spending hours upon hours daily writing code on a laptop. He soon realised that this wasn’t what he liked to do, but instead much preferred interacting with people.
With his family having owned some land, Aukrit was able to experience and observe first-hand the problems and issues faced by farmers living and working nearby. He shares that unlike the ordinary worker in the city with a fixed monthly salary, farmers usually only had a single chance in a year to earn their livelihood. As a result, a single mistake or disaster anytime during the growing season could cause the farmers to go into debt with a slither of hope to recoup their losses.
Comparing farming to trading, Aukrit observes that traders have access to a multitude of information ranging from satellite data and historical charts to aid in their prediction of market prices. This made him wonder why farmers couldn’t have access to the same set of data that could greatly improve their predictions and make better informed decisions leading to their harvest.
Understanding the benefits of mobile adoption, Aukrit shares how widespread the ownership of mobile devices has grown. He sees that many farmers nowadays can easily afford a basic smartphone with networking capabilities. Even as he realises some of them do not realise that they have access to the internet, he observes that they can still understand and use the services. Through this, Ricult could provide mission critical data straight to farmers conveniently through their smartphones.
This episode’s audio was expertly edited and this episode’s summary was written by Yong Yun Jing.