Mapping of Digital Service Providers in Bangladesh for the Aquaculture: increasing income, diversifying diets, and empowering women in Bangladesh and Nigeria project
- In a recent survey conducted by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), none of the mobile operators were found able to maintain the required 4G speed of a minimum seven megabytes per second in any of the four surveyed divisions, while in Khulna division, a reputed mobile operator failed to meet the minimum threshold of 3G speed. This makes it difficult for the scalability of digital services among the rural population because most of the digital services require a fast internet connection and decent smartphone to work. Although different studies may provide different results, the consultant has found, due to a close working relationship with retailers and farmers, that only a handful of people in the rural districts use smartphones. And even the ones who use them are not familiar with most of the features a smartphone can have, and resort to mainly capturing photos, videos and scrolling Facebook. The cost of internet is also an issue as the consultant in a previous project found that the usage rate fell drastically as soon as the subsidy for internet packages was lifted. Despite the limitations, many development projects have initiated digital services through their projects, which has resulted in some good feedback and positive results. But it is difficult to pinpoint a stand-out service provider among hundreds of companies that now develop software, mobile applications, banking solutions and many other information communication technologies (ICT) and internet of things (IoT) related services. There are some usual suspects who work with development organizations and projects. But there are plenty of other organizations who also provide digital solutions for large local and multinational corporations, and even for the international market. Finding the right partner depends on the nature of the activities, the capacity and experience of the organization, and the specific demand of the client. But if sustainability and scalability are priorities for a project, it should partner with a private company like ACI Limited that has a commercial interest to continue digital technology as an embedded service. It is also true that large agro or agrovet companies may not be as efficient and effective as they claim to be when it comes to the design, development, implementation and modification of a digital service. This is where a project could broker a partnership with a tech-based company like mPower, Dnet or BIID who have significant experience in these areas.
- Sustainable aquaculture