Background• Pineapple farming is simple and lucrative.• Myths and challenges around the crop in Sri Lanka.• 3 ways to grow pineapples: starting with saplings is most common.• A bad sapling yields a bad crop, with no way to tell until 2 years later at harvest.• Pineapples as a product: types, size, quality, etc.• Sri Lanka has Provinces/Districts/Cities
Farmers• Farmers need a tool to reduce cost of acquisition and increase sales.• Access to WAP/SMS, limited/infrequent web access.• Incoming calls are free: cell phone services are among the cheapest in the world.• Want ability to crowd source information & better sources/buyers.
Buyers & Administrators• Have more access to the internet.• Buyers willing to travel (or outsource) for top crops.• Buyers resell pineapples (hotels, canneries, etc.) to customers• Prices are negotiated per kg or per unit.• Administrators like Helani need moderation & reporting tools.
Why We Chose This Project• Clear ask with clear goals – Save farmers 11% cost, increase sales, provide resources.• Scalable & extensible – Tools can be repurposed for other agricultural products and other industries.• Inspiring challenge – Give indebted farmers the ability to make smarter choices, promote themselves, and succeed!
Our Approach• Priority 1: Drive sales for farmers – Other features for sapling purchase, ratings, buyer requests to come later. – Divide & conquer agile pairings for dev.• Strong usability – Intuitive, simple interfaces.• Design for the culture – Preference for warm, rich and lively earth tones.• Source value-added content – Internet access may be limited, but good information spreads.
Our Challenges• Older technology• Limited exposure to WAP development in North America• Lack of documentation• Limited time & resources
Our ObjectiveHelp farmers sell more crops at lower cost/aquisition!
OverviewB2B Marketplace connecting Farmers & Buyers• Website – Value-added information & content – Data (Farmer Directory, daily market value/area, etc.) – Promote the project – Open Source CMS – Easy to build on or replicate for other scenarios• WAP in-field tools – Registration – Subscription – Listings
FunctionalityRegistration Process• Simple: phone number, location, name• Phone based WAP registration• Auth via SMS: password is sent via text message• Locations are pre-populated (choice-based)
FunctionalityPosting Your Product• Via WAP: phone number, password• Information – Quantity (units) – Price (per unit) – When (date when harvest available) – Size (1-5) – Quality (1-5) – Returns a listing ID
FunctionalityBuyers• WAP interface for listing entries• Location filters• 5/page navigation - 2000KB limit per WAP page
Implementation• Wordpress plugin• Multilingual support• Large user base• Easy to install and administer• Complements the informative nature of the site• 2 extra database tables• bit.ly shortcuts for WAP
Getting to Market• Complete the software – Wrap up the WAP – Finalize website (value-added features, content)• Trial Release – Sample field release in Sri Lanka: target ENG users – Launch the WP Open Source Plug-in• Full field release – Final bug fixes & translation in Sinhala rolled out together
Phase 2… and Beyond!• Promote the PHP plug-in – Feature site for the tool – Beyond pineapples – Multi-sector repurposing: • Real Estate • Agriculture • Consumer Advocacy • Etc…• Build recognition & dev community – Open source on bitbucket – Available on Wordpress – Writing simple and clean APIs for websites