Charitable Irish trading platform shortlisted for prestigious award

TruTrade has been shortlisted in the Index Project Awards

TruTrade was developed by Irish development organisation Self Help Africa.

TruTrade was developed by Irish development organisation Self Help Africa.

 

A cashless trading platform developed by an Irish organisation giving African farmers substantially better prices for their crops has been shortlisted for a prestigious international innovation in design award.

TruTrade, developed by Irish development organisation Self Help Africa, uses a unique mobile trading and payments platform to secure fair prices for produce grown by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. It also encourages the development of microeconomies that benefit women and their families in the region.

Most farmers in the region eke out a living on underproductive land and are at the mercy of traders who travel through remote areas buying up small quantities of produce from individual farmers to fulfil contracts.

TruTrade now operates to negotiate large contracts for commodities, then hires traders to fulfil the contracts. But the traders never negotiate the price, handle cash or make payments to farmers.

Instead, the farmers, who are each given their own identification number, are paid directly by TruTrade at a guaranteed price, using text notifications and cash transfers that go from TruTrade into the farmers’ accounts.

This is possible because bank accounts and transfers accessed via mobile phone are popular in Africa. The trade is entirely mobile- and software-enabled.

The company has been shortlisted from more than 1,800 entries in the Index Project Awards. Winners in each of five categories will receive a cash prize worth €100,000.

At a ceremony in Copenhagen in September, TruTrade will join with the designers of devices that clean oil spills, reduce food waste and harness energy from kites.

Last October, the organisation won an award from the Irish non-governmental organisation representative association Dóchas.