FARMERS MARKET App is a boost for the Business of Agriculture

The Pilot Project to test the effectiveness of the new online Farmers Market app was launched on Monday July 15, 2019 at the Agriculture Ministry’s Regional Office, Onverwagt, West Berbice. Farmers in Regions 5 and 6 saw the step-by-step procedures and were reminded of the need to produce the best quality products. A live exhibition of the application was conducted by the creators of the app, Innovative Systems Inc. (Innosys).

Head, Plant Protection Division at NAREI, Brian Sears, informed the audience of farmers, business owners and Agriculture officers that the Farmers Market app is a perfect opportunity for Guyana to regain its old reputation as the ‘Breadbasket of the Caribbean’. Minister Hughes reinforced this possibility, explaining that the global nature of the Internet would also attract buyers of Guyana’s farm produce from developed countries as well.

The head table from left: Software Implementors at InnoSys Ms. Julian and Joseph; Minister Cathy Hughes; Advisor on ICT, Lance Hinds; MOA's Head, Plant Protection Div., Brian Sears; and organic Farmer Michael Fraser
The head table from left: Software Implementors @ InnoSys Ms. Julian and Joseph; Minister Cathy Hughes; Advisor on ICT, Lance Hinds; MOA’s Head, Plant Protection Div., Brian Sears; and organic Farmer Michael Fraser

Mr. Sears said he believes that this app will act as inducement for farmers to improve the quality and increase the quantity of fruits, vegetables, ground provisions, livestock, poultry, fish and dairy produce. He envisions the app spawning new local businesses, and providing a good source of information for farmers, e.g. about locating seeds and fertilizer.

He spoke about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 2 which aims to end world hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. He said that the MoA is well on the way to ensuring that Guyana’s food security is assured. However, our nutrition security is still a work in progress.

The MoA’s objective, he said, is to ensure that as many farmers as possible are involved in the Ministry’s Certification programme which is mostly intended to ensure the wholesome-ness of food products. And the best way to achieve these goals, he opined, is to blend agriculture with technology.

Organic farmer Michael Fraser of the Belladrum Shade House group said that the app is exactly what his group of organic farmers needs to be able to sell all of their produce in Guyana and overseas.

The creators of the app, Innosys, stated that like all products of technology, the app remains a work in progress, and at the moment it caters for buying and selling in-country. Other fields have to be added, for example, customs export procedures for Farmers who have secured overseas markets, plus the continued development of payment systems to keep it secure and efficient, and able to track all activities on the farmersmarket.gy site.