10 Million Users Reached in the Last 12 Months!


All of us at Precision Development (PxD) are delighted to report that in 2023 we achieved a major milestone – digital agriculture platforms built or improved by PxD reached more than 10 million users in the last 12 months!

When PxD was founded in 2016, we started with an audacious goal to use the power and reach of digital technology to improve the lives of 100 million people. In 2016 we reached our first smallholder farmers in India and Kenya, with the promise that technology-based solutions like digital agricultural advice could reach massive impact at scale. Now that promise has become a proven track record of rapid scale-up, as we have grown from 25,000 cotton and maize farmers in 2016 to more than 10 million farmers today cultivating more than 25 crops and 5 livestock value chains. This translates to an average annual growth rate of 30% over the last four years (since PxD’s growth stabilized after the initial period of triple digit growth rates). 

This rapid growth has been against the backdrop of several tumultuous years that have upended the lives of smallholder farmers – and all of us – in countless ways. We have seen the COVID-19 pandemic claim millions of lives, disrupt agricultural markets, and impose travel bans on people worldwide. Conflict in northern Ethiopia, physical insecurity in Nigeria, floods and typhoons in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, devastating pest outbreaks in Kenya, elections and changes in government administrations, and many other challenges large and small have made it more difficult to reach farmers with our services. Perhaps most importantly, climate change continues to be an existential threat to all of us, and smallholder farmers living in poverty are among those most affected by the changing climate. However, all of these challenges have also reinforced the need for our work and created opportunities to use new technologies to increase farmers’ resilience to risk and unexpected threats, and improve farmers’ lives even in the most remote, hard-to-reach corners of the earth.  

We could not have done this alone. This rapid growth has been made possible by focusing from the beginning on partnerships. Rather than trying to grow by acquiring users one by one, which is costly and time-consuming, we have partnered with governments, non-profit organizations, private agri-businesses, and research institutions to provide digital information services to complement our partners’ work, leveraging existing databases of beneficiary populations to scale quickly. In some cases, we have built digital services on behalf of our partners, and then transitioned the services over to these partners so that they can achieve long-term financial and operational sustainability, and we can then turn our attention to new services and geographies. Importantly, our growth has come from a combination of three distinct business models – i) build-operate transfer, where we have reached 7 million users through services that we built and transitioned to our government partners; ii) build-operate, where we have reached more than 2 million users through our own ongoing service delivery; and iii) partner service improvement, where we have reached more than 1 million users by helping our partners improve their own digital information services. We are immensely grateful to all of these partners, and to the many foundations, bilateral and multilateral funders, and individual donors who have made our work possible. 

Still, today we are only 10% of the way towards our audacious goal of improving the lives of 100 million people. There is much more work yet to be done to bring the power of the digital revolution to all the smallholder farmers and other people living in poverty who need it. The need for PxD’s services will increase over time as climate change worsens, access to digital technology continues to grow, and new technological advances like artificial intelligence (AI) become more useful and accessible to people across the world. We remain steadfastly committed to continuing our work for the long haul by scaling our current services, building and scaling more digital services in new geographies, and developing partnerships with governments and other partners. And we are continuously investing in R&D to design new product innovations to deepen our impact and improve people’s lives in new ways, for example by increasing farmers’ access to hyper-local weather forecasts, loans and other financial services, stress-tolerant seeds, and other climate adaptation and mitigation technologies. We will do all of this while keeping a laser focus on what really matters – positive impact for our users. 

We expect that the number of users we reach directly in any given quarter or year will ebb and flow as agricultural growing seasons begin and end, funding cycles end, programs are transitioned to partners, and active users become graduated users. However, we are confident that in the coming years the long-term trend will be towards increasing numbers of people reaping the benefits of our work as we climb ever closer to our audacious long-term goal.