WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grameen Foundation today announced that it has received a Force for Change grant from Salesforce.org, the philanthropic arm of Salesforce. These funds will be used to improve economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in Colombia using mobile technology and Salesforce App Cloud. The grant will enable Grameen Foundation to expand its mSourcing solution, which allows private and public sector players in the horticulture supply chain to work more cost-effectively with smallholder farmers.
In Colombia, more than 2 million smallholder farmers produce 75 percent of the produce that arrives in Bogota daily. The farmers sell the produce to commercial aggregators that work directly with supermarket chains and other large buyers. Farmers, however, face several challenges in maximizing their income. They sometimes have to sell to middlemen who pay lower prices than commercial aggregators. They have insufficient technical knowledge to meet market demand and production and quality standards and also have limited access to funding that could help them adopt agricultural best practices or meet standard processing and packaging requirements. Challenges with logistics and aggregating produce, and the resulting higher administrative and transaction costs, also make it difficult for large buyers to source directly from individual smallholder farmers.
"Smallholder farmers are the backbone of Colombia's agricultural industry but often don't earn enough to support their families or improve their businesses," said Fernando Henao Velasco, Grameen Foundation's Colombia county director. "We are pleased to receive this award, which will enable us to expand on our work with mSourcing to build a robust system that benefits both farmers and large scale buyers."
Grameen Foundation's mSourcing solution combines mobile tools with proven approaches that integrate smallholder farmers into value chains, and leverages real-time, quality information to improve efficiency. First piloted in 2013, the mSourcing solution is built on Salesforce App Cloud and employs TaroWorks™, a mobile-based field force management and data collection software, to facilitate more effective procurement, local sourcing of fresh fruits and vegetables from smallholder farmers and distribution.
The funding from Salesforce.org will be used to add more functionality to the mSource solution and to expand it to different users. Grameen Foundation will work with commercial aggregators ALSUR and Fundacion Salva Terra, and a subset of their clients, including a restaurant chain and a large supermarket. ALSUR was part of the original pilot project.
About the Salesforce.org Force For Change Grants Program
Salesforce.org's Force for Change Grants Program accelerates social impact by funding innovative ideas spearheaded by the nonprofit and higher education sectors. The program is open to nonprofit organizations and nonprofit higher education institutions that are focused on using technology in innovative, forward-thinking ways that will have meaningful social impact.
Salesforce.org is based on a simple idea: leverage Salesforce's technology, people and resources to improve communities around the world. We call this integrated philanthropic approach the 1-1-1 model. Since 1999, Salesforce technology has powered more than 27,000 nonprofit and education institutions; we've provided more than $100 million in grants; and our employees have logged more than 1.1 million volunteer hours throughout the world. For more information on Salesforce.org, please visit www.salesforce.org.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation is a global nonprofit organization that helps the world's poorest people achieve their full potential by providing access to essential financial services and information on health and agriculture that can transform their lives. Founded in 1997, it delivers solutions that respond to the needs of the poor, as well as tools that help poverty-focused organizations become more effective. It focuses on initiatives that can achieve widespread impact and uses an open-source approach that makes it easy for other organizations to adopt them broadly. Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank and the Grameen family of companies, is an inaugural member of its Board of Directors, and now serves as director emeritus. Grameen Foundation is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in the U.S., Asia, Africa and Latin America. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter @GrameenFdn.
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SOURCE Grameen Foundation