Project Everest

Personal feelings of FarmEd Cambodia

XUFEI GAO | Jan 20, 2017 | in Knowledge Base


My name is GAO, one of the trekkers on the FarmEd team in Cambodia in January.

I am glad to introduce our work and progress. I mainly responsible for the financial aspect such as optimize the business model and design the charging methods of our services. Additionally, I also contact with local farmers in order to organize some interviews with more local people in order to familiar with the Siem Reap market as well as collect some useful data. 


What we and I have done in this month

Project Everest is a sustainable work, which means we should keep the three month work consistency and keep on focus the work we have done in the following a few years even through the group leave the country. As a result, our group and I tried our best to do a lot of jobs in this month and played a connecting role in the three month project.    

On one hand, we enhanced the relationship with NGOs, on the other hand, we designed the FarmEd app and wrote the business plan. With the help of the previous team work, we have already built up some good relationship with NGOs such as Landmine Museum and Relieve Center. So our first work when we came to Cambodia was to write an initial email to them and requested a meeting as soon as possible. After we met with them, we discussed the feasibility of a number of cooperation projects. Additionally, we also tried to find some new potential partners. Besides, the prototype of the app has been designed, as a result, in the third week, we could show the app to farms when we do the survey on them and might have the initial feedback of whether they would accept the application. For myself, to be honest, my English is not so good. Most of the time for me is the learning process. But all my team member are patient and friendly, so they explained our mission over and over. What’s more, I really touched a lot of new things such as Elevator Pitch. It was the first time I heard this word and did it. I really learned a lot from it. Besides, for the three weeks, I did some jobs which I would explain in the following part.

Ø  Familiar with the work what the previous team have already done

Ø  Design a business model for lower income farmers

Ø  Draw the business canvas

Ø  Chat with a local farmer and contact with her boss

Ø  Organize a field investigation in local farm

Ø  Write the competitiveness analysis in the business plan

Ø  Design the charge method of the FarmEd application

Ø  Prepare a list of questions that we need to ask local farmers and suppliers

The most important part job I have done is the competitive analysis in the business plan. First, I used Michael Porter’s Five Forces to analysis the competitive environment. In the analysis, I mainly focus on bargaining Power of buyers as well as threat of new entrants. Additionally, SWOT analysis was a main method. I analysis our FarmEd application form strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The SWOT analysis could help people who are interested in the FarmEd app have a better understand of the function of the app and offer us a direction of improving the application.


 Why I did this work

Firstly, in order to avoid the repeating work, it is really helpful for me to read the handover document from the previous team in order to familiar with what they have already done and know what they want us to do in this month. Furthermore, the business model helps me a lot at the beginning. For this month, our main target consumers are high income farmers. However, the business model for the high income farmers has already been done, so I design a business model for low income farmers and hope it will be useful for the following team. Even though the business model for the low income farmers might not be used in our business plan, it really helps us to have a basic understand how the application runs and what we need to do in this month. Besides, the chat with farmer we met in the market offer us a chance to do further interview. For example, I had a chat with a girl in the local market and got a chance to talk with her boss who whose farmers group are providing a direct education to farmers. The study could be used to measure farmers’ interactions and reactions to the app. What I learn from here is never overlook any chance. Because at first, we just chat with the girl and I cannot believe that girl would offer us an opportunity to see her village and give us so much useful information.



What need to be done in the next month

From my personal experience, a small suggestion for the following group is that never overlook any person because they might offer you unexpected useful information. Additionally, maintain and build up more relationship with NGOs as well as farmers is also important. The Project Everest is a sustainable work. As a result, as the last team in this holiday, your team should finish the work need to be done at first as well as keep on monitoring the process when you leave Cambodia.


Some directions

Ø  So far we have already design the app, however, how to promote the application and where to promote you need to consider

Ø  Focus on the low income farmers

Ø  Collect and analysis the market feedback of the FarmEd app.



Finally, hope you guys will have a fantastic month in Cambodia. We are good trekkers in the PE family



Nicholas needs Jan 23, 2017

I love the personal touch you have put with this Gao, it is important as well for new trekkers picking up a project to be aware of the project direction but also to understand the personal experience of working on it. You've provided some good recommendations so hopefully when future trekkers read this they take away your personal experience on board.

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