A Siem Reap company has developed a smartphone app that aims to connect farmers, middlemen, suppliers, markets and experts in a way easy even for those with little formal education.
Kengo Kitaura, a Japanese entrepreneur who moved to Cambodia in 2010, started work on the Agribuddy app after encountering problems setting up a 1,000 hectare cassava plantation in Pailin.
Kitaura said he struggled to easily get in touch with experienced farmers who could help him with problems, buyers to find out their crop prices, equipment suppliers and so on.
“I didn’t see any simple way for an average Cambodian farmer to find these things, so I started to think about how an average farmer could get that information,” he said.
“I saw more and more farmers holding smartphones, but with the language issues, and the lack of farmers, traders and suppliers listing themselves, the phones were just being used for games and maybe looking at Facebook,” he added. “I thought this could be the answer.”
Using the multi-functional app, rural farmers can upload photos of problems they find, post enquiries about what crops they should use, and even log information about their credit history and assets in order to secure loans.
“I hope Agribuddy becomes the tool that helps farmers reach their potential,” said Kitaura.