Indonesian President Joko Widodo has launched five apps to help farmers sell produce online, partnering with local startups.
The government is using apps built by three Indonesian startups – 8villages, TaniHub and Code4Nation – rather than building its own services. The Jakarta local government has taken a similar approach to get apps out quicker.
TaniHub’s grocery app lets farmers sell and ship their products directly to consumers. It has started with farmers near Jakarta, and plans to expand to other regions. It guarantees customers a refund, if the items don’t reach them.
The Pantau Harga app lets users track food prices across the country. Farmers can advertise the prices of their products and citizens can submit reports of the prices they locate. It was built out of a government hackathon hosted last year by Code4Nation.
A third app is LimaKilo, also born out of the hackathon. It lets farmers sell produce in bulk or smaller quantities, and sets prices through a bidding system. Government officials can track data on sales and prices on a separate dashboard.
The Petani app by 8villages gives advice to farmers from experts in Universitas Gadjah Mada directly through the app or by text messages. They can send in questions and photos, and can expect a reply within a day.
Finally, President Widodo launched a service for farmers to build their own online shops. The Nurabaya Initiative sets up an online storefront, logistics and payments service to start a business. It also advertises the products on search engines and other websites through its own partners.
Online markets will “shorten the crops distribution chain from farmers to consumers”, a spokesperson for the President said, according to Tempo. This will help secure the supply and and prices of food in the market, he added.
The scheme is a partnership between three ministries – Communications and Information, Trade, and Small and Medium Enterprises.