At AGRO-HUB, we understand that information is wealth and access to public information is a fundamental human right. Moreover, no market development strategy or supply chain management strategy will succeed without ensuring proper information flow.
In line with our [rural] agricultural market development activity therefore, we are investing a considerable amount of resources and time in sourcing and distributing agriculture and market information between farmers, government agricultural agencies and other stakeholders; a process that has helped us gain knowledge and experience about making information widely accessible to persons at the Base of the Pyramid.
Operating in a country (Cameroon) where mobile phone penetration looms whereas less than 4% of the population has access to the internet, you’ll immediately see why we are big on SMS or text messaging – with more than 80% of our communication tools built around SMS.
Among the tools and solutions we have developed (in partnership with Zinger Systems) are:
SMS Ordering System that allows businesses to order supplies from suppliers via SMS.
SMS Inventory Tracking that allows inventory reporting from a remote location via SMS as the one used in our AGRO-MART to report inventory to our head office.
SMSDeck that makes SMS marketing cheap and seamless by leveraging Twitter SMS.
If you are facing any communication challenge in rural Africa, we may have a solution.
You are welcome to contact us with any questions or inquiries and our team will be able to help you.
The buying and selling of agricultural products in Cameroon is largely done through traditional marketplaces or agricultural retail markets. These markets, despite being part of our core heritage, have failed to meet the market needs of today’s fast paced information driving world. Characterized by their usually dirty and noisy environment, they provide a marketplace where food is either wasted or sold under very poor hygienic conditions and with usually no grading/pricing standards. This results in a lose of value and hence income to the rural farming community – especially the women – who depend on these markets to derive income for their families; hence the need for a market upgrade.
At AGRO-HUB, we are challenging the status quo by striving to ameliorate the current situation by means of a carefully planned agricultural market development processes.
Since 2009, we have been developing a market development/upgrade approach that fascinatingly we found out falls inline with the guidelines detailed in this very useful publication by the FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION(FAO) OF THE UNITED NATIONS that has now become our reference: A Guide to Upgrading Rural Agricultural Retail Markets FAO Rome 2009
Rather than duplicate the content of the aforementioned document, we’ll like to state our objectives here very briefly:
- Improve rural farmers’ household incomes.
- Connect buyers directly to farmers hence shortening the food supply chain.
- Strengthening food safety by providing a healthier environment with basic infrastructure and facilities in the markets where hygiene conditions are poor and the risk of food contamination is high.
- Reducing the losses of perishable agricultural products by providing appropriate shelters, storage, preservation and water facilities.
- Improving marketing efforts by providing training in marketing and customer service management.
- Reducing the risk of women being excluded by facilitating rural women’s participation and their access to market facilities, training and microcredit system.
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, we mark our first major milestone towards our agricultural market development/upgrade efforts. The rural farming community of Muea will witness the the opening of a “farmers’ supermarket” – AGRO-MART MUEA - located within the main food market center.
We want to be your partner in fresh food and agribusiness in Cameroon. Direct your buying, selling or production inquiries to us and we’ll use of network to provide you with just the best answer.