Monday January 23, 2017, St. Lucian start-up “Tri Farm Company Ltd.” launched a new online platform.
The new website, ‘trifarmltd.com’ connects producers and buyers of agricultural products in a novel way. The online portal is built on a predictive model which allows farmers to input crop data, enabling buyers to forecast market conditions months in advance.
Founder of the company, Garvin Francis, stated that this platform will solve one of the major issues facing agriculture, which is market access – linking buyers such as hotels, restaurants and agro-processors to producers. For years, stakeholders were unable to access a market-forecasting model such as this. He continued to state that the potential benefits of this initiative are significant, noting that one hurdle in its implementation is the ability of farmers to make the transition online. Through a sustained re-tooling campaign, the company intends to equip farmers with the best practices required for this new platform.
In addition, the web portal creates new opportunities for the younger generation of farmers to get involved in agriculture in a familiar online environment. This will generate opportunities for youth in rural areas, thereby reducing unemployment.
Farmer Cooperatives can also benefit tremendously from this initiative. Key benefits include the reduction in overhead costs and increased organizational efficiency. Another benefit is that a single user can create several farms under a Cooperative Company profile and manage these accounts on behalf of his/her membership.
With readily accessible information online, farmers have access to an expanded market, greatly improving their customer base. trifarmltd.com is ‘revolutionary’ in its ambitions, and intends to raise the standard of living in villages and rural communities locally and regionally.