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Aug 17, 2018

On episode 32 we welcome Usman Javaid – CEO of Ricult. This startup spawned out of MIT sets to change the paradigm in global agriculture by rejiggering how folks who grow our food in all corners of the world can access resources, and sell their resulting crops to benefit themselves and their consumers.  Ricult is unique as they aim to fix the agriculture value chain through simple mobile tools that can be overlaid on modern technology platforms. By improving the value chain, Ricult is enabling farmers to pull themselves out of poverty while tapping a multi-billion dollar market.

“We are not a charity; we are an empowering community transformation. This is the basis for a brighter future, built on hand-ups, not handouts” describes Javaid, an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in Telecom, Mobile Banking, Mobile Agriculture in Pakistan/Bangladesh – who is now equipped with an MBA from MIT Sloan.  Usman leveraged his past experience selling petrochemical fertilizers at Exxon, and time spent with Pakistani dairymen while at Nestle to better understand and appreciate the perils of small stakeholder farmers around the world.  While at Sloan school he helped organize a team of global thought-leaders equally interested in changing global agriculture through defining a new paradigm focused on the farmer first.  And, that’s what they’ve done.

Their Bill and Melinda Gates foundation backed company has now architected and framed a system which alleviates many of the issues within current supply chains for small farmers.  Supply chains for the billion small stakeholder farmers throughout the globe are often controlled by their investors, who maybe be better described as loan-sharks and present limited interest in feeding a shrinking planet nor looking out for the best interests of their debtors.  From Clearinghouse -to- Financier -to- Marketplace preserving production qualities – it’s RIcult that has stepped in to re-introduce potential for small stakeholder farmers to make a fair living through growing our food.

The solutions they seek set to address vast global problems like food shortage, malnourishment, poverty, and rural unemployment.  Javaid and his leadership team at Ricult have decided this must begin by investing in the smallholder farmer. Their promise is to give these farmers the tools they need to be better informed, and to empower economic actors which will help more farmers work their way out of debt & poverty. As Usman states – “The world is ready for farming to be revolutionized and become more inclusive by liberating the very people who form the backbone of this industry.”

No matter where you’re from. where live, or what you’ve done – have a listen to our 40 minute conversation. This discussions impacts us all.