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Agritech App Brings Livestock Farmers into Digital Economy

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Ari.farm, a new agritech app, is helping to bring nomadic livestock farmers into the digital economy.

The idea, launched for farmers in Somali, was inspired by a relatively new concept called “crowd-farming,” an agricultural adaptation of crowd-funding, which connects farmers with investors through a digital platform.

As ICT development and access to mobile internet in developing countries is crucial to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving people’s lives, Ari.farm is one of the many success stories of how rural farmers are benefiting from new applications of mobile technologies.

Mohamed Jimale, founder of Ari.farm, spoke to ITU News at Seedstars Summit, discussing how his app is changing lives for farmers in Somalia.

Jimale was raised in a community of nomadic farmers in rural Somalia. With a background in IT and international development, he saw an opportunity to connect nomad farmers to the digital economy.

“While I was working with the UN last year, I was getting a lot of news about farmers and nomads in Somalia struggling with their life,” he said. “I wanted to do something sustainable. So I did a lot of research online, and found different initiatives leveraging this concept of crowd farming and that stuck with me, because these farmers in Somalia have assets; they have animals. So why not help them sell their assets?”

How did Ari.farm manage to bring Somalia’s farmers into the tech scene? Simplify the technology.
Ari.farm is a first-of-its-kind mobile application that allows anyone with a smartphone to purchase and invest in livestock in Somalia.

Through the app, users buy animals such as goats, sheep, cows or camels through their smartphone.

The animals are then raised and cared for by the nomadic farmers, and users make a share of the profits when the animals are sold or have offspring. The mission of Ari.farm is to positively impact nomadic communities, and the platform has successfully contributed an enhanced level of stability in the lives of livestock farmers.

“We try to simplify technology for the user-end [on] the back-end,” said Jimale.

The on-the-ground operation is conducted by local teams made up of livestock experts and former nomads. The local teams work as intermediaries responsible for reaching out to nomad communities and purchasing their livestock – a proactive approach that doesn’t disrupt livestock farmer’s nomadic lifestyle. The nature of work requires only basic technology skills, such as taking pictures of livestock and reporting regular updates back to the office.

Not Without Risks
As a former nomad himself, Jimale’s biggest obstacles are not in navigating the Somalia’s complex environment or tracking down nomad communities. According to Jimale, the two primary risk factors for his startup include climate and security. According to the Somalia Drought Watch’s latest findings, drought has affected approximately 50% of the Somali population and displaced around 444,000 people. Another factor is security issue. Somalia’s security crisis is exacerbated by long-running regional disputes. The ongoing conflict situation makes it challenging to deploy local teams to some parts of the country, let alone to conduct on-the-ground operations.

Social Impact And Emotional Connection To Increase User Engagement
Users invest not only money but their emotions in the livestock. The platform allows users to name and monitor the well-being of the animals they purchase through real-time statistics. Jimale wanted to explore the emotional element and to have the users establish some sort of relationship with the farmers and the animals.

“I think for some customers, it’s become too emotional,” Jimale half-jokingly said. Instead of having users get too emotionally attached to the animals, he would like to draw the focus on the social impact they are making. Ari.farm has successfully helped Somali farmers finance their losses and damages resulting from seasonal drought and other unmanageable hardships, and provide job opportunities to nomads in rural areas.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

Visa Launches ID Intelligence for Smarter Customer Authentication

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Visa has launched Visa ID Intelligence, a platform that lets issuers, acquirers and merchants quickly adopt emerging authentication technologies, according to a press release.

Available through Visa Developer Platform, Visa ID Intelligence offers a curated selection of third-party authentication technologies that feature simple integration with Visa APIs and SDKs. This allows clients to create, test and adopt new authentication solutions.

This ultimately helps financial institutions and merchants to adopt effective and secure solutions and accelerate time-to-market with streamlined on boarding and implementation through Visa as a single trusted source, the company said.

Visa ID Intelligence features include: Identity Documents— the platform evaluates identification documents and matches selfies to photo IDs, while extracting document information and converting it into digital form.

Uses include creating new accounts, and performing password reset and lost or stolen card replacement.

-Biometrics — Visa ID Intelligence allows clients to use eye, face, fingerprint and voice to meet consumer needs for convenience, security and speed in authentication.

Uses include app login, payments, step-up authentication, and more.

“Traditional methods for authenticating a customer can create frustration or are simply not designed for the new ways people are shopping and paying. We built Visa ID Intelligence to help accelerate smarter and easy-to-use authentication solutions for any commerce environment — to better protect against fraud and to move closer to a world without passwords,” Mark Nelson, Visa senior vice president of risk and authentication products, said in the release.

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ESET Works With Google To Protect Chrome Against Dangerous Malware

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By peter oluka

ESET, a leading global cybersecurity company, on Thursday launches Chrome Cleanup, a new scanner and cleaner for Google Chrome designed to help users browse the web safely and without interruption.

Chrome Cleanup will be available for all Google Chrome users running on Windows.

As cyber-attacks become more complex and difficult to spot, browsing the web can lead users to dangerous sites which can install malicious software onto devices.

Chrome Cleanup will alert Google Chrome users to potential threats when it detects unwanted software.

Google Chrome will then give users the option to remove the software. Chrome Cleanup operates in the background, without visibility or interruptions to the user. It deletes the software and notifies the user once the cleanup has been successfully completed.

“Using the internet should always be a smooth and safe experience for everyone,” said Juraj Malcho, chief technology officer at ESET. “For three decades, ESET has developed a number of security solutions that allow users to safely enjoy their technology and to mitigate a variety of cyber threats. Chrome Cleanup addresses unwanted software that can negatively influence a users’ experience on the internet.”

Chrome Cleanup is included in the latest version of Google Chrome. For more information about these tools, read Google’s blog post, here.

For 30 years, ESET® has been developing industry-leading IT security software and services for businesses and consumers worldwide.

With solutions ranging from endpoint and mobile security, to encryption and two-factor authentication, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use products give consumers and businesses the peace of mind to enjoy the full potential of their technology.

ESET unobtrusively protects and monitors 24/7, updating defenses in real-time to keep users safe and businesses running without interruption. Evolving threats require an evolving IT security company.

Backed by R&D centers worldwide, ESET becomes the first IT security company to earn 100 Virus Bulletin VB100awards, identifying every single “in-the-wild” malware without interruption since 2003.

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A Buyer’s Market in the Global Economics of DDoS Attacks

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It’s a buyer’s market in the local property arena at the moment, according to certain industry experts.

 

This is largely as a result of the slower economy, which has seen a rise in the number of properties for sale.

 

But did you know that globally, it’s a buyer’s market as well when we look at the economics of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks? The second, of course, is an underground market, largely regarded as a criminal one.

 

So said Bryan Hamman, Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Referring to recently released information from Arbor Networks, he said, “It is interesting to analyse the current economics in global DDoS attacks, which are attempts to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Most people who are aware of DDoS attacks understand that there will be a perpetrator and a target.

 

“However, we’re now seeing a growing number of third-party providers of DDoS attacks as a service, who advertise their abilities online in order to either sell would-be attackers access to the tools needed to conduct a DDoS attack, or who perform the attack themselves on the customer’s behalf and provide reports afterwards.”

 

Hamman noted  that the fees of these underworld providers are lessening, due to rapidly expanding competition and the supply of readily available attack resources such as botnets. As a result, he says, the DDoS business is currently a buyer’s market.

 

Arbor reported that the prices for attack services, sometimes called “stressers” or “booters” vary widely, as do estimates of the total cost of an attack to the victim. But the economics are simple: DDoS attacks are becoming cheaper than ever for the perpetrator; are extremely lucrative for the attack service provider, and potentially financially devastating for the target.

 

Arbor noted that an increasing number of operators resemble legitimate service provider infrastructures with significant computing power, typically running their own botnet armies to unleash DDoS attacks. Perpetrators can essentially rent the providers’ botnets by the hour, day or week, or in some cases can buy a specific number of bots outright. The mechanics of transactions follow a classic web service model, meaning the perpetrator and the provider need never come in contact.

 

Providers that conduct attacks-as-a-service even post their services online, with tiered pricing reflecting the different types of attack that they offer. Prices are based on several factors. They can include the duration of the attack, the perceived value of the target, the country in which the attack takes place and/or the different methodologies employed.

 

In Arbor Networks 12th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, 59 percent of respondents estimated their downtime costs as being more than USD500/ minute in lost revenue (some ZAR6,700 per minute with the rand/dollar exchange rate on around ZAR13.50 to the dollar), with some indicating even higher losses. This also does not factor in the costs of repairing the damage, potential legal costs of settling with customers denied service, or reputational damage to the company’s brand.

 

Hamman concluded, “Here in South Africa, we may not yet face the overtness of DDoS operators advertising their services, as can be seen in the US. However, this does not mean that local companies shouldn’t be vigilant against DDoS attacks – protection is more vital than ever. A hybrid solution that combines on-premises and cloud-based protection is the industry best practice in DDoS defence. When you accept that DDoS attacks aren’t going away, and in fact are projected to escalate, it makes the best economic sense of all to make sure that you are adequately prepared against a DDoS attack.”

 

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