Online agri supply store launched

THE Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and GoEden online platform have forged a partnership to give farmers better access to supplies for agricultural production.

Under the joint undertaking, GoEden will consolidate products from various agri-supply stores into a one-stop online shop. This helps farmers cut travel time to multiple stores and avoid settling for products that fall short of their production requirements.

SEARCA said the initiative aims to offer farmers a wide choice of products through an organized e-commerce platform. The agency funded the digital agriculture project implemented by the startup company through its Grants for Research toward Agricultural Innovative Solutions or Grains project.

Zion Agricultural Ventures founder Julieane Lacsina said that agricultural supply stores suffered from low foot traffic and reduced replenishment of their inventories during the pandemic.

"This project provided a systematic approach to manage store inventories for maximum value for money and product move out. This digital transformation is a major shift from stores with no records or incomplete records using traditional pen and paper," Lacsina said.

Glenn Baticados, head of the SEARCA Emerging Innovation for Growth Department Program, said that by digitizing inventories, four brick-and-mortar stores in Tarlac, Laguna and Batangas were able to add 841 products to GoEden.

Baticados added that products ranged from grafted seedlings, cuttings, fertilizers, pesticides and small tools for agriculture.

A cooperative group in Tarlac was assisted in digitizing its agricultural rental services for trucks and tractors through a newly developed GoEden booking platform. The booking service includes rental of other agricultural machinery such as combine harvesters and drones.

"Through Grains, we support innovators and startups who can translate and diffuse their ideas and technologies into benefits for farming communities. By promoting store digitization, farmers can now hope for better access to the right and timely supplies for a successful season," Baticados added.