Online Agricultural market for Pakistani farmers
My name is Muhammad Ramzan Rafique, 36, and I am a graduate of University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Pakistan, with horticulture as my major. I belong to an agricultural family, born and raised in a village, studied agriculture, and now working in agriculture sector. I have worked for public as well as private sector. I am currently managing www.agrihunt.com, (agricultural information sharing) www.lsij.org, (scientific journal) and working for the development of www.sublimeseeds.org (online seed store). I also run my personal blog on various social issues at Urdu blog, and for agriculture Agrihunt blog. Team Agrihunt consist of many volunteers and we have successfully launched many social projects like Fruit for life, and publishing of agricultural books.
It is my dream to re-shape the agricultural landscape of Pakistan. My project is to set up e-Agricultural market, where farmers can buy and sell products, without the intervention of middlemen, because that results in increased costs for consumers and low profits for the farmers. I have bought a domain name www.emandi.pk (local word for agricultural market) for this purpose. Now we have to do efforts along with web and application development. We want to establish text messaging channel for establishing link with less educated farmers, where farmers can easily know the market rates of crops and other agricultural products.
In Pakistan 60-70% population is directly or indirectly related to agriculture. 95% of the farmers are small farmers and they buy agricultural inputs from middlemen, they also sell their produce via middlemen. So in both ways, they are paying to middlemen for same commodity. If we can minimize this gap by increasing mobile technology, we can make a huge difference among farming community in Pakistan.
I have worked with giants of agricultural input providers in Pakistan. If we provide quality products to farmers at reasonable prices and at their door step, along with guiding and introducing them to direct buyers or industry, then the existing buying and selling landscape in agricultural industry can be reshaped.
We are already working with offline agricultural stakeholders’ directory in Pakistan, so our first step would be make a database of agricultural input providers, producers or growers, and related industry for developing a web portal, smartphone application as well as text message based alert system for farmers and other stakeholders.
We wish to launch vegetable seeds distribution system by http://www.sublimeseeds.org. We will launch a pilot project in Sahiwal area of Punjab, where farmers would be able to order selected vegetable seeds at competitive prices at their door steps, and they can pay cash on delivery.
For selling their vegetables, we can recommend direct buyers rather than them selling produce to middlemen, who always procure at lowers prices from farmers. Additionally, our website will provide a place to people for advertising their products themselves and interact directly with buyers and sellers.
We can make a difference in one local market in one season, as we have capability to get good products and we wish to provide them at discounted price as middlemen commission will no longer be there, so I hope we can attract many farmers.
I aim at spending award money for establishing an online e-agricultural market setup which can bring buyers and seller at one platform. We will establish a call center facility as well, where farmers will be provided agricultural guidance and market rates.
In period of one year, we can facilitate a large farming community because Internet has no limits. All we need to do is to open just one door of opportunity for them. Our cost breakdown for the whole project is roughly as follows:
Website and application development: $1000
Message (SMS) integrated system: $2000
Awareness programs: $1000
Blogpost, video and picture submitted by Muhammad Ramzan Rafique (Pakistan) – ramzanrafique(at)hotmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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