Market Vendors and their plight to sell their produce and find better access to consumers was the main inspiration for this idea. We've also found that many businesses would like more direct access to farmers and this is something technology can be used to bridge the divide.
How it works
Technically the goal is to develop the solution as a platform that can be iterated easily after market feedback and allow greater access and connection between wholesale purchasers of produce and farmers.
A central database would be developed to store details of buyers, vendors and produce to which there would be two initial frontend access applications. A web page that can be accessed via public internet with any modern browser and a mobile Android application. Android was chosen as initial mobile platform because it's the most common OS used for affordable smartphones. The ability to easily capture an image in the field and upload to web platform is also a key component the solution. The web page will also be designed with flexible rendering options so that functionality on smaller mobile screen is clearly available as it would be on larger screen of laptop or desktop computer.
Access to the service would be free for farmers with a commission being paid to AgriGate after completed transactions and businesses would be changed a subscription fee for unlimited access.
Challenges I ran into
Our main challenges were around the distribution model for goods after connection made between seller and buyer and a robust payment system for individual buyers. We summarized that at initial launch the focus would be on businesses as buyers as they would have established places of operation while would make it easier for them to co-ordinate delivery with sellers and to delay the launch of product to individual buyers to develop a payment and delivery model that would be more suitable.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
A business model that has the potential to be sustainable and improve the market reach of farmers and vendors.
What I learned
Learning and leveraging the talent of team members.
What's next for AgriGate
Our immediate goal is to complete the backbone of the platform and develop a working prototype of the mobile application for an alpha launch to gather feedback from farmers and businesses.
The team is also looking at completing further market analysis to determine the best options for expansion which would include livestock and fisheries.
A solution to the challenge of individual buyers is also being developed.