On June 5-7, 2020, the Georgian Agency for Innovation and Technology hosted a hackathon called "uHack for Rural Development", with the goal of utilizing digital technologies to help individuals people living or working in rural areas to cope with the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.
The event was arranged by the European Neighbourhood Program for Agricultural and Rural Development (ENPARD), funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and administered by the Rural Development Agency. At the end of the project, 13 teams were chosen from 70 applications to present to the jury.
One of the two winners of the project platform is the digital village https://myfazenda.eu. The platform myfazenda.eu (Digital Village) will connect landowners, farmers, logistics companies, capital owners, and multi-sectoral entities with innovative approaches.
Goga Kvaratskhelia, managing partner, discussed the project and its implementation with Front News.
- Our platform is still in test phase; however, services will be made accessible soon.
Our holding runs multiple start-ups, myfazenda.eu is the one among them. I have been in the private sector for 12 years, during this time we have run several companies and merged into one holding.
One of the projects - the portal https://myfazenda.eu, consists of several modules: Agro market, E-tenders, Owner's department, Farmer module, Agro practice, Waste management and product labelling.
In the module "Agro Market", agro products will be available with a delay in delivery.
Strawberries can be a good example of this: during the spring, when strawberries are not even planted, we can buy them in advance in the digital market, at a much lower price. If one-kilo strawberries cost 7 GEL per season, users can purchase 5-6 months prior to harvest per kg for 2-3 Gel.
You keep your purchased products on your balance sheet and can sell them on the secondary retail market at a higher price by reducing waiting time and enabling customers to trade with products without their physical presence, so it gives an opportunity to earn some money. This is where Fintech comes into play, like barter as the way of payment and the chance to make some speculations.
The company plans to issue Stable coins next year, which will be supported by the agricultural product created on the portal.
The module "Electronic Tender" provides a systematic approach to the plots of land added to the portal, which is reflected in the categorization of works and the expansion of lots. For example, the cultivation of plots of land in the Samegrelo region will be announced as a single lot, with a cost of several million. In case of winning the tender, the agro-mechanized company will have a strictly written, technical assignment, in what time, in what amount, where, and how much work to perform. Since the population has mostly a small number of plots of land and with their unsystematic approach, operating time and costs are significantly increased.
The Practices module brings together the new proficient projects operated in a specific location which are created by the entrepreneurs and already have some results.
In the Ownership Module, the owner of the plot of land can share their experienced practices in his micro zone. For instance, one can share the experienced practices of strawberry, jalapeno and tomato in one plot. After all, auctions will be announced for all three products, taking into account the relevant risks. As soon as any product is sold, the auction of other products will automatically stop. The starting price of the auction will be the price estimated (including lease) in the proficient practice.
Waste Management Module - As you may be aware, waste remains at the conclusion of the agro cycle, which in Georgian reality is burned and causes significant environmental damage, despite the fact that it can be transformed into a useful product. Our portal will be eco-friendly and all its users will have declared environmental concerns. Composting or other recycling processes will be provided by land plots and specific operators. Waste-disposal plots will be chosen based on their cost-effectiveness.
Labelling Module - by scanning the barcode of our final product, you will have access to detailed information about the product supply chain, such as, what crops were grown in the area over the last five years, what practices were followed by agro processes, when was harvested, planted, poisoned, when was visited by an agronomist, information about warehousing, conditions, etc. There will be photographs as well as factual footage.
- Why an agro entrepreneur and what benefits will he/she have by creating practice?
- In the “Farmer module”, the entrepreneur creates the cost estimate, timetable and technology.To compile the cost estimate, we have also put into the system a gadget which is our other startup That simplifies and calculates the market value of the work which is required.
With the cost estimate calculated by the gadget, our portal, with the help of other modules, ensures timely and quality execution of this work. In addition to receiving agro products at the end of the agro cycle, the entrepreneur will establish an experienced practice. If the agro practice produces positive results, is profitable, and appealing to a larger number of landowners, the more opportunities they will have to share their practices. If they share and successfully complete the auction transaction, the inventor of the practice will receive royalties. If the author's list grows to tens of thousands of subscribers, his/her income can amount to several hundred thousand GEL. By this, I mean that living in a village or town, with a little diligence and minimal investment, one can generate much more money than she/he would get from traditional farming methods.
- How are you going to ensure the quality of products and processes?
- Of course, if we announce a tender for agro services, it will be followed by our technical supervision, we will purchase the relevant services from a qualified company.
- Who is eligible to invest?
- As you know, Georgia's capital market is underdeveloped, and the main reason for this is a lack of understanding in this area. Furthermore, the complexity of the issue and the endless bureaucratic barriers make the process more complicated. I believe it is time for a new hybrid fintech to appear on the market that will speak more understandable way to all stakeholders. Agro products will be consumed as well as resold by investors.