Project Everest

Work Update

Fiji POC December 17 First Week Recap

by
Sunny Commandeur
Sunny Commandeur | Dec 4, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

Fiji FarmEd POC had a busy first week! We spent the first half of the week getting our bearings, and some in-country training. First up was a quick excursion into Sigatoka Town to figure out where everything was, and to pick up some sulus for visits to the more traditional villages. We went through workshops on empathy, risk management and pitching, followed by an agricultural crash course at the Ranadi Plantation.

Now prepared and excited to put our training into practice, we headed to a farm in Nabaka, where we empathised with our first group of farmers. They taught us how to conduct ourselves during a kava ceremony, and gave us a tour of a farm. They were incredibly kind, and invited us in for lunch afterwards. We pitched the idea of workshops at $50, and they were very receptive to the idea of attending in January.

Next, we set about exploring the resources that the July POC Team had left for us, updating the impact assessments and stakeholder map for our current situation. The contact lists needed organisation, so we collated them into one master list and filled some gaps.

On Thursday, we began working on our core operation - visiting farms that PE has previously worked with, and gaining insight into how they are currently doing. Our first goal was to drop off a few consultancy reports and collect payments from Qereqere village, but we experienced our first taste of Fijian Unpredictability™.

None of the people we were trying to find were actually in town at the time, and a tropical storm decided to hit while we were busy figuring this out. Drenched, we decided to cut our losses and head home rather than keep searching in the rain. Instead, we planned out the next day, phoning customers ahead of time to avoid the same thing happening again.

When we returned, we found that one of the farmers was home, but didn’t have the cash for his consultancy report. We offered to return soon and organise a payment plan. The next farmer it turns out, worked at Chicken Express, so we decided to catch up with him in town. Instead, we dropped by one of his neighbours. July Team informed us that he was incredibly welcoming, and they definitely understated how much so. After a farm tour, we successfully pitched workshops and blueprints over bowls of  tea. Heading straight from Qereqere, we hit Chicken Express for lunch, and linked up with our other farmer, who was still keen, but could not currently pay for his consultancy report.

We then went over the week with the entire FarmEd Fiji team, and collated everyone’s findings. FarmEd is speedily making progress, and it's only the first week, we can’t wait to see what we can do with another 3 weeks!

 

One key thing we have discovered from this week is the inconsistency of which farmers have cash to pay for reports that were ordered in the past. We feel that we need to collect some kind of prepayment as collateral to ensure there is some revenue recovered from customers who get cold feet. A sale is not a sale until cash is exchanged, and taking a 20% investment in advance would at least help cover losses, and encourage full payment.

 

Zoe Paisley Dec 6, 2017

Awesome work and conclusions PoC. We definitely need to be making these deposits on the blueprints and workshops to confirm customers. By making them pay a portion of the price (if not all of it), they'll be more willing to follow-up and attend the workshops, giving value to both us and the farmers!

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Zoe Paisley Dec 6, 2017

Awesome work and conclusions PoC. We definitely need to be making these deposits on the blueprints and workshops to confirm customers. By making them pay a portion of the price (if not all of it), they'll be more willing to follow-up and attend the workshops, giving value to both us and the farmers!

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Samantha Orum Jul 1, 2018

Status label added: Work Update

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