‘Wuh greens yuh gettin’ today?’
─ Official Farmers Market App launched
─ Direct Purchases means lower produce costs
DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 15, 2019
In a marrying of Telecommunications and Agriculture, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications, in collaboration with Innovative Systems, today launched the FarmersMarket.GY app in Onverwagt West Coast Berbice.
Gone are the days when farmers were subject to the haggling of their produce to middlemen. The application will allow farmers to be in direct contact with buyers, ensuring the best prices for their produce. It essentially serves as one big marketplace, allowing you to buy from farmers across the country from right on your computer or smart device.
To use the app, the farmer must first create an account to post their listings, from here they will then go through a verification process after which they will be able to post what and how much produce they have for sale. They will also be able to see requests for specific produce thus allowing them to plant strategically to meet demands. Buyers can simply create an account, log in, search for their desired produce, and then choose a payment method.
The application allows for payments to be made via cash, cheque, Mobile Money, Wire Transfers or payment through credit card. Minister of Public Telecommunications, Hon. Catherine Hughes delivered the feature address at the launch and shone a light on the level of innovation that can be found throughout the country in terms of technological advancements in farming coming from young people.
“High school students at North Ruimveldt Multilateral and Bhygeval Secondary have already developed apps that can be downloaded, and the area they looked at is measuring the moisture content in the soil. So, in a very practical way, I’m showing you we already have the young people that are developing these apps”
FarmersMarket.GY also allows for even greater market sources for farmers as even now, restaurants and hotels in Canada have been sending in requests on the app for vegetables and fruits in large quantities. Even local companies such as Banks DIH are using the platform to source fruits locally for their fruit drinks.
The idea for the application was birthed from the annual Hackathon event hosted by the Ministry of Public Telecommunications as CEO of Innovative Systems, Richard Langford, explains. “That event had various challenges, and one of the challenges dealt specifically with farming and how we can improve the relationship between farmers and buyers, ensure there is less wastage, spoilage and bringing technology into farming.”
Langford further explained that in the initial stages of the app there will be no charge for its use as they will not be looking to monetise it for now, however, in the distant future transaction charges could be applied.
The platform also has a rating and review system, where you can rate your experience with a producer as “Good, Bad or Neutral” and allows for you to leave written reviews on their profile and listing. There is even a freshness meter, that allows you to buy good quality produce.
The Ministry of Public Telecommunications has been working alongside the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) to source the farmers and verify them as well as their produce for the platform.