Project Everest

Work Update

[FEB 19][TIMOR] Stakeholder Partnerships

by
Xavier Jordan
Xavier Jordan | 8 months ago | in FarmEd - Timor-Leste

The FarmEd project has the goal of addressing food insecurity in Timor Leste through providing tailored agricultural advice to farmers, as communicated through a mobile application.

The January handover document provided insight into the work that had been completed by both them and previous groups. The document detailed the progress that had been made in signing MOU’s from various farmers throughout the Dili region, and the relationships that had been formed as a result of stakeholder meetings. The document allowed the February group to not only be informed on FarmEd’s growth and status, but also directed to recommendations on how to further the project.

 It was decided through careful analysis and discussion that we would aim to implement a distribution strategy that has a focus on both B2B and B2C segments. The channels that would be utilised would be through face-to-face sales to farmers and partnerships with NGO’s and complementary businesses (supermarkets, distributors). 

BUSINESSES

Businesses were explored as a potential partner for a variety of reasons. We believed that they would oversee and employ farmers to buy crop off, allowing them to be a distribution channel for our app. Furthermore, there had been little contact made with supermarkets from previous groups, therefore it was decided that this would be a viable option to pursue.  After failing to create a dialogue through email, trekkers from the FarmEd group went to these establishments to create an initial relationship and set up meetings to discuss the app further.

A meeting with the store manager from Pateo supermarket allowed us to gain insight into supply chain of Timorese supermarkets. It was described that the supermarket itself did not oversee any farmers, but were in partnership with a distribution manager who would buy crop from farmers to then sell to the supermarket. As the supermarket was going through an extended channel to buy the crop, it then diminished the likelihood of them making the investment into the application.

NGO’s

Meetings with NGO’s have provided potential promising partnership or collaborations in the future. NGO’s are a viable channel of distribution as they have similar values in having the primary concern of addressing food security (as compared to businesses who are profit driven). While we have not received a definitive confirmation on entering into a partnership, we have seen promising interactions through the expression of interest into our project. In addition to this, we have also used these meetings to gain invaluable insight into the agricultural problems in Timor, from industry professionals.

 An interaction we had was with Mericorp who explained the potential to distribute the app to their Timorese extension workers. These extension workers would manage multiple farms using the app and provide face-to-face recommendations and advice, as generated by the app. A positive bi-product of this method of distribution is that it would diminish the power imbalance between those who are literate and those who are not, granting access to all Timorese farmers.

As it stands now, we believe that NGO’s could provide us with the greatest value in accelerating the FarmEd project. Their capacity to distribute the app to their extension workers and their considerable network and relationship with Timorese farmers allow for a great opportunity for the app’s success. Additionally, the NGO’s clearly demonstrated vested interest in seeing improvements in the agricultural situation in Timor Leste aligns strongly with the values of Project Everest and our purpose.

 

Another exciting new prospect is looking into the possibility of forming a relationship with World Vision in Timor Leste. World Vision in partnership with Mautinoa Technologies is aiming to roll out an initiative to provide mobile smartphones to rural community members, where geographic and economic limitations are felt strongly. Due to the substantial amount of farmers that live in these rural villages, the FarmEd team have recognised a significant opportunity to enter into collaboration with them. In anticipation of the app’s launch, we will be working with establishing a more profound professional relationship in the future.  

edited on 22nd February 2019, 00:02 by Rose Gooding

Rose Gooding 8 months ago

Status label added: Work Update

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Rose Gooding 8 months ago

Thanks for a really good summary of where FarmEd Timor Feb 19 is at Xav! Businesses are a difficult one at this point in time without any direct benefit to them - something that will make more sense with a market place feature. Is it also worth mentioning that the team has been looking at Co-ops as a channel - as they do look after a set of farmers. The potential work with Mercy Corps is extremely promising as well as what the plan is with World Vision.

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