The organization was started by a group of classmates studying different branches of agriculture in university, with the aim of becoming a “one-stop-shop” of knowledge for clients, who are often landowners without a background in agriculture. The firm provides guidance on how landowners can operate their farms effectively even if they are relative beginners in the industry.
The “Dream Team,” which is scattered across the country, uses mobile phones, email, Slack, and Google Drive to stay connected and provide real-time updates. Recently, they began using drones to get a better view of the fields where they are working. The team initially used images from Google Earth to get a view of new farms, but they found that the shots were not up-to-date, and some of the more remote areas of the country were not yet covered by Google Earth. This led the company to purchase a small drone that they use to take area photographs of a site and help with farm layout. In the future, they hope to integrate additional technologies such as low-cost sensors for soil testing.
While most of Dream Agritech’s team are in their mid 20s and early 30s, their farmer clients tend to be older, in their early to mid 50s. Most of their clients have mobile phones and can make and receive calls and SMS, and a handful have Facebook, but they typically do not use email or access spreadsheets. Part of Dream Agritech’s service to their clients is to help enhance their use of digital and mobile technologies, such as mobile phones, and the company hopes to integrate more technology training into their model in the future.
Dakila Olfindo, founder of Dream Agritech, did not grow up expecting to work in agriculture. While most of his friends’ parents encouraged them to find jobs in fields such as engineering, medicine, and law, his mother — who went to the same university that he did and worked in agricultural business management — encouraged him to pursue agriculture, telling him that “if there’s one thing the world can never run out of, it is food, so [if you work in agriculture], there will always be demand for people like you.”
More recently, Oflindo recalls, activists on Facebook and social media have started to shift the perception of agriculture, with a groundswell of support for the industry coming from youth who are reacting to news about food shortages across the Philippines and recognizing the role they can play in addressing this problem. Dream Agritech is committed not only to providing excellent service for their clients, but also to helping change the perception of agriculture for youth in the Philippines and showing that agriculture can be both a profitable and exciting career path.
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