MoPT launches CODE SPRINT 2017

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, August 09, 2017

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications has launched CODE SPRINT 2017 to enable the development of software to enhance the Agriculture Sector.  Fourteen teams over the next 20 days will be building an application that will link farmers locally and regionally to meet supply and demand of the markets.

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CODE SPRINT is similar to a Hackathon; however, CODE SPRINT participants will be allowed to take home their project. This will grant them adequate time to conduct research to build the application.

Ministerial Advisor to the Minister of Telecommunications, Lance Hinds said that CODE SPRINT is a continuation of the Ministry’s programmes to enhance young peoples’ abilities. He noted that CODE SPRINT will be identifying, to develop products that are produced and identify the gaps in the applications as part of the Ministry’s capacity building exercise.

“You may remember there was a Hackathon last year where there were eight teams and this is a continuation of that work”, Hinds said.

Requirements for the CODE SPRINT include: a practicable and applicable solution to be used in Guyana; demand statistics must be generated and be accessible to farmers, the payment system process should be fast and easy and the solution should offer order tracking functionalities.

The application must match buyers and sellers of agricultural products based on offers on both sides; match and conclude transactions and generation of statistics based on volume per products; average price and total dollar value. Additionally, there must be an easy way to aggregate order quantity (e.g. a consumer wants 10 tons of organs then several small farmers; coming in at 1-2 tons each should be able to combine their quantities in order to meet the order).

Hinds noted the complaints of small and medium scale farmers in Guyana, regarding the difficulty in finding buyers for their produce, resulting in losses suffered due to spoilage. They are often forced to sell off produce below market value to avoid waste. There is no structured system under which international buyers can conduct Buyer to Buyer (B2B) transactions with local producers.

DSC_0594However, large and medium scale consumers both regionally and locally are complaining that the producers in Guyana are incapable of supplying large orders of fruits and vegetables. It is believed if farmers are able to see demand trends (statistics) they will know what to produce and the amount to produce thereby matching production capacity to market demand.

Production specialisation might be a spin off, and as direct consequence farmers can benefit from economies of scale, hence, the CODE SPRINT, Hinds pointed out.

Several participants said they are excited to take on this new challenge. Stephanie Simon, Team Mega Girls, said that her team will be happy to develop a software for one of the leading sectors in the country. She expressed delight that the team has enough time to conduct research and possibly carry home this project. Deenauth Mahabeer from Team Innosys noted the task is a bit challenging but not difficult. He said the challenge comes when there are a number of teams producing the same applications.

The victor will receive $300,000, while second and third place winners will receive $200,000 and $150,000 respectively.

CODE SPRINT is a collaboration between the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, dev X and Version 75.

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications will also host another Hackathon in November of this year.

 

By: Gabreila Patram



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