An online open collective market system that enables farmers to showcase products and buyers have access to varieties of farm product ready for sale.
My name is Chukwudi Anyanaso. I hold a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) from AFRIHUB at the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO). I am 27 years old, was born in Aba Abia State Nigeria. My mother was a teacher, and my father a farmer and taxi driver.
Growing up, I was taught by my parents that nothing is impossible if only I believe, so this orientation became my life, strength, and weakness. After my university studies I did not bother to look for job in civil engineering firm, because I have always wanted to solve a particular problem, which is the lack of sustainable market channels that discourages farmers, like my father, from scaling up production.
This passion has led me to join the Smallholders’ Foundation, first as a volunteer in 2008 and a full staff member in 2010. My experiences and different positions held in foundation have equipped me with extensive skills and knowledge of venture creation education.
Problem. Agriculture is the predominant occupation of more than 120 million people in Nigeria out of a population more than 200 million people; 80% are rural smallholder farmers. According to FAOSTATS 2012, more than 200,000,000 tonnes of food is produced annually, worth more than USD 120 billion.
In spite of the huge population of farmers in Nigeria, 45% of the farm produce is wasted as they fail to make it up on to market shelves due to lack of good road networks, the limited and high cost of transportation, lack of packaging of goods, lack of storage facilities, and inadequate market information—to name but a few problems.
More worrisome is that the majority of the farmers rely on the remote rural market with only one market day per week. This reduces their market share and discourage them from large scale production as they will like to reduce wastage due to inability of them to sell on time, thus increased food insecurity and poverty in the country.
Solution. My idea is FarmBracket—a tested and proven idea that brings agri-ICT market at the beck and call of every smallholder farmer, linking them with prospective buyers in and outside their region.
Our online collective market system opens easy, cheap, and fast-tracked communication system between a farmer and buyer 24/7. In so doing, farmers are triggered to prepare plans to produce a specific level of surplus for sale to local or international trader/buyer.
FarmBracket will focus on the following crop commodities at this pilot stage: maize, cassava, rice, sorghum, cocoa, yam and oil palm. Our system utilizes a SMS-to-Web platform that automatically allows farmers to easily update their status based on the quantity and quality of goods available for sale. This is done by simply dialling a code on their handset.
It also informs them daily of buyers who offer standardized contractual buying arrangements with specific conditions, current commodity exchanges and auctions etc.
Our system charges these farmers and buyers a little amount of money, USD 0.5 equivalent of 100 Naira for any transaction made using our services and a monthly subscription of USD 0.5 (100 Naira).
Our current milestone. To establish fully our online collective market system for farmers and buyers, collect and upload data of 1,000,000 farmers and buyers (maize, sorghum, oil palm, cassava, rice, yam, millet, and cocoa), generate online and trading transactions in our web system, generate our SMS-to-Web code for farmers and buyers and farm-linkers, and link up with delivery company, like FedEx Nigeria.
What we have done so far. In April 2014 the FarmBracket Team carried out feasibility studies of farmers and buyers in our respective targeted crop commodities.
The feasibility was conducted in four geopolitical zones of Nigeria—Southeast, South-south, Southwest, and Northwest—to ascertain the asset base for farmers in our targeted crop commodities, their local distribution and communities, and normal and potential production for each member of the group.
Second, we have developed and launched a website prototype of FarmBracket (www.farmbracket.com) and currently we are working on it to keep it to the standard we want.
All we need is a seed grant of USD 5,000 to:
- USD 800 to Establish fully the FarmBracket Web (one month)
- USD 1,500 to purchase SMS-to-Web code for one year and design our online banking (one month)
- USD 2,000 to collect and upload data of farmers and buyers (one month)
- USD 500 to establish agreement for six months with FedEx, a delivery company (one month)
- USD 200 for monitoring and evaluation
Impact and measurement. FarmBracket will reduce at least 60% of food wastage as a result of late sells due to lack of market infrastructures and increase farmers income by 60% in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
It will enable farmers sell their produce even before harvest thereby encouraging them to farm big and increase food security in the country through fast track communication system with a buyer and farmer and farmlinkers.
Using a profit generation model that makes use of a group of people called farmlinkers. These group takes 15–30% of our profit depending on the number of farmers they register in our site and buyers connected, and number and volume of sells transacted using our system.
FarmBracket will be a fast profit income generation web portal for prospective people that want to venture into farm marketing and networking.
These will be measured through:
- of farmers and buyers registered in the FarmBracket portal
- of SMS sent everyday
- Quality and quantity of farm produce soled per day/week
- Daily and weekly revenue generation
- Daily feedback from farmers, buyers and farmlinkers
- Daily and weekly delivery with FedEx, DHL, etc.
- Weekly evaluation and report.
FarmBracket Team includes:
Mr. Chukwudi Anyanaso, 27, (founder), an engineer and a farmer with 7years experience in rural farm marketing and sustainable development, Radio broadcaster at the Smallholders Rural Radio FARM 98.0FM Obitti Ohaji Egbema Imo State.
Mr. Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, 33, (co-founder) Ashoka Fellow, Yara Prize and Rolex Laureate, a Farmer, innovator, leading social entrepreneur and founder/CEO of the Smallholders Foundation Ltd./Gte in 2003.
Miss Chinonyerem A. Ethel, 29, Operations Manager, ten-years’ worth of extensive skills in rural marketing and development.
Engineer Jean Claude, 30, web and data engineer, founder and CEO of Oasis of Information Technology Services (OITS). He has more than seven-years’ extensive knowledge and skills in website designing and management and networking.
Mrs Gladys Effiong, field officer, 33, Data Manager. Lecturer at the department of marketing Alvan Ikoku College of Education. Founder of the Ola Foundation, eight-years’ extensive experience in digital marketing and advertising.
Our Partners. FedEx, MTN, Airtel and Globacom, DHL, GTBank, and Sky Bank, Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) and Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), etc.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Chukwudi Anyanaso, (Nigeria): farmbracket[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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