Biometrics and secure payment technology developer Novateqni has won a major new contract for a large-scale deployment, the company has announced. It’s going to provide a Farmers Registration and Administration System for the Malawi government.
It’s essentially going to be a national biometric identification system for the country’s farmers, who will be issued smart cards containing their data and allowing for administrative functionality including the reporting of crops and financial updates. The system will revolve around a network of fixed offices as well as cloud-based computing, satellite communication, and mobile biometrics devices. It will begin with a six-month pilot project.
In a statement, Novateqni President Gerhard Mynhardt said the project “will be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how we use advanced technology to provide improved functionality for stakeholders in an essential industry.” And he’s quite right; according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, agriculture is the biggest sector of Malawi’s economy, employing 78 percent of its labor force and accounting for about a third of the country’s GDP.
Novateqni appears to be doing brisk business these days, given that this latest large-scale contract follows closely on a major order for its biometric enrolment devices from MTN Nigeria as the latter’s parent company, MTN Group, seeks to digitize banking on the continent. Of course, it looks like the Malawi project will be on a bigger scale and will require more time and effort, but it should all pay off, not just for Novateqni but for Malawi and its farmers, too.
September 11, 2015 – by Alex Perala