To provide farmers better access to supplies for agricultural production, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) supported a project to digitize agri-supply stores through the GoEden online platform.
“GoEden consolidates products from various agri-supply stores into a one-stop online shop. This helps farmers cut travel time to multiple stores and avoid settling for products that fall short of requirements. The goal is to provide farmers a wide choice of products through an organized e-commerce platform,” said SEARCA director Glenn Gregorio.
The SEARCA Grants for Research towards Agricultural Innovative Solutions (GRAINS) funded the digital agriculture project implemented by startup company Zion Agricultural Ventures.
Gregorio said the recently completed project called “Improving Farmers Access to Agricultural Technology, Products and Services through Digitization and Consolidation of local Agri-supply Stores” expanding the GoEden online catalog for farmers and institutional buyers.
Zion Agricultural Ventures founder Julieane Lacsina said agricultural supply stores suffered from low foot traffic and reduced replenishment of their inventories during the pandemic.
“This project provided a systematic approach to managing store inventories for maximum value for money and product move-out. This digital transformation is a major shift from stores with no records or incomplete records using traditional pen and paper,” she said.
“By digitizing inventories, four brick-and-mortar stores in Tarlac, Laguna and Batangas were able to add 841 products to GOEden,” she added.
The products ranged from grafted seedlings and cuttings to fertilizers, pesticides, and small tools for agriculture.
Moreover, a cooperative group in Tarlac was one of the first few groups that started digitizing their agricultural rental services for trucks and tractors through a newly developed GoEden booking platform. The booking service includes rental of other agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters and drones.
“Through GRAINS, we support innovators and startups who can translate and diffuse their ideas and technologies into benefits for farming communities. By promoting store digitization, farmers can now hope for better access to the right and timely supplies for a successful season,” said SEARCA’s Emerging Innovation for Growth Department program head Glenn Baticados.
Emerging Innovation for Growth is SEARCA’s flagship program in Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN).