Industry

This App Helps Farmers Connect with Buyers

It helps lessen waste and oversupply.
IMAGE IFARMS
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As an agricultural company, iFarms’ objective is simple: to help Filipino farmers by integrating technology into heritage practices. Founded in 2015 by model-turned-techpreneur Jairus Ferrer, the homegrown agritech company aims “to empower and enrich our users with solutions that address transparency, quality, and consistency issues that currently affect the supply chain of fresh produce.” 

The way the company is doing that is through Umá, an app launched in 2020 and designed to connect farmers with entrepreneurs and buyers through an innovative, transparent, and easy trading platform. The app, which gets its name from the Bisaya, Hiligaynon and Bikolano term for “farm,” is a B2B data-driven solutions platform that provides buyers with access to a wide range of farm produce from seasonal fruits and vegetables to seafood and native grains, even before the product is harvested.

This “Sold Before Harvest” strategy addresses the problem of wastage and oversupply. “Ordering even before the produce is harvested allows our growers to anticipate logistical and operational activities, and to ensure the freshness of the produce delivered to businesses,” the company says in a news release.

Through Umá, partner growers are given the opportunity to market their products, provide all relevant information, input their own competitive prices, and manage delivery schedules. The farmers can post the day’s harvests for buyers to choose from. The app also allows businesses to connect directly to the growers to order and arrange deliveries.

“This easy-to-use app is backed with a system that ensures orders are fulfilled from the farm to your doorstep, making the trading experience as seamless as possible” Ferrer says. “We’re solving the logistics and accessibility problem that has made moving food from point A to point B incredibly challenging. We want farmers to grow what the market needs at prices they’re willing to buy and for buyers to discover the best quality, reasonably priced goods.”

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iFarms is involved in other activities in nearly every stage of the agricultural process meant to help farmers, including crop forecasting and secure payments.

"We've got a long way to go in our efforts to revolutionise agriculture in the Philippines - our company is still a startup," Ferrer said in an interview with WorldRemit. "At this moment, we need to strive to increase user-generated activities and on-board more industry practitioners from both producers and consumers. We want to make sure that our system generates revenue for everyone in the ecosystem and perhaps in time it will transform the industry for the better."

The Uma app is available for download on Google Play Store for Android and soon on the App Store for iOS

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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