Riskflow: SmartFarmer—Cloud-based Platform for Smarter Farming

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Barry Steyn, CFO & COO With over 60 per cent of subSaharan Africa’s population engaged in farming practices, agricultural activities have massive influence over the region’s social and economic development. Subsistence and rural farmers face numerous challenges, including lack of suitable transportation, limited information and knowledge, insufficient access to funding and insurance, and limited choice of vendors and service providers. In the absence of regular funding sources, farmers sell their produce forward at low prices to agents, who hold a monopoly over the produce of farmers and the utilization of money that farmers generate from their crops. “In essence, farmers invest significant efforts and take several risks, but are disproportionately and inadequately rewarded,” states Barry Steyn, CFO & COO of Riskflow. Riskflow is a South Africa-based Fintech brand that empowers farmers to engage with multiple entities in the supply chain and connect directly with marketplaces via its agriculture supplychain solution, the SmartFarmer Platform.

Founded in 1988 as an Asset and Liability Management consultancy, Riskflow evolved into an innovative fintech company that offers solutions to the financial industry across banks, insurance brokers, and asset management firms. During the covid-19 pandemic, Riskflow integrated its standalone products into a single cloud-based system—the Riskflow Digital Treasury Platform. The solution is an integrated treasury and risk management platform that segregates the front, middle, and back offices with different access and security levels. The platform enables users to execute their day-to-day treasury activities, risk management, accounting, and strategic management of bank balance sheets. The platform also enables users togenerate Monte-Carlo simulations of future interest rate scenarios and yield curves for bank asset and liability profiles. Riskflow integrated similar functionalities into its SmartFarmer platform to enable the flow of information, knowledge, and funds among stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

SmartFarmer is a cloud-native system where farmers register to access a wide range of vendors, service providers, insurance companies, and banks.


Rural and subsistence farmers often outnumber mega farming operations and significantly contribute to overall food security. By utilizing a seamless communication channel, they are able to add value to local governments


The platform enables users to record operational information and generate expected cash outflows and inflows that provide farmers with insight into their financial standing and the overall status of their business.In addition, SmartFarmer enables farmers to upload images of infected plants, identify the type of disease, check pesticide and fertilizer recommendations, and learn about effective ways to protect their crop. Insurance companies can utilize the platform’s geomapping and geolocation capabilities to analyze the potential risk of localized farming activities arising from changes in the weather and other environmental factors. Insurance businesses can apply this information to price risks scientifically and accurately. Likewise, financial institutions and banks can access data of the operations on farms and receive regular updates. This enables banks to enhance their risk management processes and provide client-specific solutions that meet the requirements of a particular farming operation. SmartFarmer’s innovative and collaborative attributes have helped Riskflow develop closed-loop funding, where farmers of a particular region interact with each other to form a synergistic community.

Farmers often face similar farming experiences and challenges, and SmartFarmer enables them to connect and assist each other. Elaborating on this, Barry adds, “One group might have surplus cash because they are at the end of their season, and they help other farmers who might be at the start of theirs.”

This cooperation leads to increased lending and movement of funds within the community without the intermediation of banks. The deployment of SmartFarmer in a region of Zimbabwe resulted in increased crop output, improved flow of information between authorities and locals, and reduced industry violations. In addition, SmartFarmer presents local governments with the capabilities to analyze their food security indices and plan related strategies.

Food security is one of the most concerning issues for the communities in many African nations, who often witness strained food supplies and malnutrition—a situation that worsened during the covid-19 pandemic. To help address this issue, Riskflow’s platform predicts crop yield and provides authorities with information to strategize effectively for food security policies. By streamlining communication between governments, local marketplaces, and farmers, SmartFarmer diminishes the likelihood of misinformation and empowers authorities to generate accurate reports. “Rural and subsistence farmers often outnumber mega farming operations and significantly contribute to overall food security. By utilizing a seamless communication channel, they can add value to local governments,” reckons Barry. Riskflow delivers high-value platforms through its team of passionate industry experts and developers who tirelessly collaborate and create breakthroughs that positively impact communities. With operations in Africa, Riskflow aims to expand its footprint and share its solutions with the rest of the world.

With its holding company in Ireland and presence in London, Riskflow plans to roll out its treasury platform in Europe and the UK. Its highly efficient and pocket-friendly characteristics make it one-of-a-kind and an excellent alternative for existing fintech products. One could say that Riskflow’s combination of financial and technological expertise enables it to generate significant value, but one also observes their dedication and compassion towards helping diverse communities. “Staying responsible to the environment and impacting the lives of people are very closely related. Food security is a global issue, and our solutions bring value to millions of people across Africa. We will continue to enhance our offerings and enable farmers to improve their farming operations and livelihood.”

Company
Riskflow

Management
Barry Steyn, CFO & COO

Description
Riskflow is a fintech company based in Johannesburg, South Africa, that develops applications to address complex challenges in the financial and agricultural industry. The company comprises industry experts and developers who have extensive knowledge and experience in financial services and software development. The company’s flagship product, SmartFarmer, empowers farmers to engage with multiple logistics organizations and connect directly with marketplaces. Founded in 1988 as an Asset and Liability Management consulting business, Riskflow has evolved into an innovative fintech company that offers solutions to the financial industry across banks, insurance brokers, and asset management firms.

Riskflow