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GLUT-STOP- A Market Reorganizer

Service/app that organizes farmers and their produce into selling groups to prevent market glut that leads to low prices at harvest.

Photo of Jenny Adaobi

Written by

WHO BENEFITS?

Farmers would benefit because they will have better access to information as to where to sell their products. Farmers would be in a better position to negotiate better prices. Also prospective buyers seeking for farm produce could locate farmers via the application.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

Nigeria. Over 70% of the population is involved in farming.

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

I am based in Nigeria. I grew up in Northern Nigeria which supplies about 70% of Nigeria's food. I studied Agriculture as a first degree and had the privilege of working with mentors on some agricultural development projects. I work with some IT experts but I am also open to more collaboration

One of the main ways farmers try to combat waste and spoilage is by quickly selling off their farm produce at nearby markets at low prices. This usually leads to a market glut that results in too much food than the market demands. There is therefore need to reorganize the market and the farmers to prevent glut and achieve higher prices. 

A key way to do this is by :

1. Finding other markets with a higher demand for certain farm produce- preferably where production of such farm produce is low.

2. Locating and assigning farmers to sell to certain markets. This would involve organizing farmers into various groups that sell only to certain markets.

This would widen the prospective markets for farmers, reduce glut and increase prices, hence improving their financial position.

Glut-Stop involves a service, an application that combines database management and information and intelligence systems to locate farmers and enroll them; locate markets, buyers and enlist them; Negotiate Prices and Match Farmer groups to buyers. 

15 comments

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Photo of Hala Chaoui
Team

hi Jenny, it's impressive how the idea was inspired by women who self-organized to sell fish without competing in a self-defeating way. Back in Lebanon I was always taught that true solutions are local ones. Do you think that creating small mobile markets would help prevent market glut as well? This is the idea of having pick up trucks stop in certain neighborhoods and sell produce from their truck bed. The sale rendez-vous could be in response to customer requests, by sms. Customers could also join a mail list and be alerted of the truck-bed produce sale by sms. 

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

That's would be a very good especially if it is consistent and people know the trucks will always be available. Very good idea, I must say.

Photo of Hala Chaoui
Team

I'm  glad you think so! The idea is actually inspired from how small farmers used to sell produce in Lebanon, back before cell phones were available. They used to show up before the morning rush hour and call out their produce on speakers; "potatoes, come get your potatoes"! That was before bad traffic quenched these old ways of doing business there. The running joke was that the farmer's call happened too early. Of course sms or email eliminates the sound nuisance issue.

I imagine running a pilot project would generate ideas on how to best run such a project. I've worked on some logistics projects in the past, so if you ever want to brainstorm I would be happy to.  

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Intriguing idea Jenny! You'll be interested in checking out this likeminded idea in the challenge: Markit Opportunities for Smallholder Farmers 

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

Thanks a lot Shane...I appreciate the markit opportunities and I know our farmers need a lot of that to survive the damages that come with loss. 
A little background to Glut- Stop would show a slightly different purpose and urgency. In one of our Nigerian markets, somewhere in Ojota Lagos, we had a group of women who sell Fish and who stay in the same place in the market! Now because of the epileptic supply of electricity, these Fishes are sometimes not sold from cold rooms or freezers as one would imagine but are bought in Icepacks and quickly sold off before they melt and run the risk of spoilage. Besides, customers do not want to buy fish that isn't stiff from ice. The results...the women were always competing and in a hurry to sell of their produce at whatever price to combat competition and avoid losses due to spoilage. They were also victims of customers who would offer less money because, they knew there were so many women in a hurry to sell of their fish.
Then they came up with a solution...one day I went to the market to by a specie of fish we call 'titus' ( Mackerel) and discovered that of all the women who were selling fish, only one was selling Titus. The others were not allowed to sell Titus that day. Every person who wanted to buy Titus was directed to that woman by the other women.
Viola, they had reorganized themselves so they could all win. The result...the woman who sold Titus was able to sell at a very competitive price ( infact, slightly higher than surrounding markets).
So what did these women do in essence: they allocated the market days among themselves along with the produce each woman was allowed to sell on that particular day.
For instance, Woman A sells Titus ( Markerel)
woman B sells Kote ( Horse Markerel)
Woman C sells Croaker
Woman D sells Panla ( Fresh Stock fish)
These Fish Types are usually rotated and redistributed at different times so nobody is always stuck with a higher or lower demanded fish specie.
The  result is that they have been able to manage glut and low prices that are associated with glut and cut-throat competition. 
Sometimes, transporting produce to farther distance does not guarantee that farmers get higher prices. For instance, in Nigeria, farmers transport tomatoes from The North to Lagos where the demand is very high. One would expect that they would get higher prices, but because of the amount of time these tomatoes have spent on the road, and the risk for spoilage, the farmers are still forced to sell off at low prices before they run losses. This is because the farmers all take their produce to the same place, at the same time. Farmers compete against one another which is bad for business. There is need to teach farmers how to compete against the markets.


The aim of the Market Reorganizer is not just to Provide market opportunities but help reorganize and decentralize markets  by helping farmers to reorganize produce and markets to minimize conditions that bring about selling the same produce, at the same place and at the same time. These conditions leads to glut, competition and low prices. For instance, in Nigeria, Farmers who stand by the roadside to attract buyers are known to sell at better prices than those who take their produce to the same place-markets. What farmers in the markets do is that they try to come up with an agreed selling price which is usually compromised when faced with the challenge of spoilage.


Therefore:
Glut-Stop as a SERVICE would help teach farmers how to reorganize produce and markets to bring about a WIN-WIN situations. There is a need to reach out and teach farmers how to win. Let them see what others who were in their own situation have done and then see how they can reorganize themselves to win.

Glut-Stop would bring market opportunities to farmers as a way of reducing the Glut associated with being in the same place at the same time, selling the same produce.

Glut-Stop as an APP will serve as a guide to the facilitator, not the farmer ( about 80% of them are uneducated and have no access to Internet facilities in Nigeria anyway) to help match farmers to markets and buyers and thus reorganize markets.

Glut-Stop as a ONLINE MARKET for food would give opportunity for independent food merchants in cities to place orders, locate markets and find farmers in localities. These would help decentralize food markets and thus reduce the cut throat competition, low prices and glut that arises from being at the same place, at the same time, selling the same produce.

Photo of Cristóbal Cuenca Almenar
Team

Wow Jenny Adaobi  this is a huge project!

I was wondering if you had thought about providing direct access of farmers to the platform. I see that in your current IT solution, you need a facilitator linked to every group of farmers because of the lack of internet connection or smartphones. However, having a facilitators adds an extra layer to the deal that might slow it down and create new costs. Would you hire facilitators or would farmers do it?

At Markit Opportunity - Build a Trust Network  we decided to stick to SMS, not only to keep it simple but also make sure that farmers themselves have a key role in the platform and keep the focus of innovation on the process.

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

By sticking to SMS, we are making an assumption that everybody is literate enough to type. This isn't the case in Nigeria. SMS is fine but you will be surprised at how even that can seem complicated in an area with high illiteracy level. Nigeria is working towards that but we are not there yet. It would be much easier to place a call than type an SMS in Nigeria. Well every technology adoption is gradual process so while making room for the innovators and early majority, we should also make provision for the late majority and laggards.

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Thanks for the in-depth details Jenny! This is very helpful to know.

Photo of Brian Powell
Team

Hi Jenny,

Do you have a website where I can get more information?  Or a write-up that you can email to me?  I am working on a service platform for smallholders, but your's is an approach that I hadn't heard about yet, so I would like to add it to my project.  I am currently targeting rice farmers in Myanmar and I'm sure they could benefit from your model!

I am building a community of people interested in discussing ideas like this further, so please check out my website at i1P2P.com and add your input if you have time.  I'm particularly interested in your thoughts about how to reach farmers that don't read and write.

Looking forward to hearing more about how your project and its success!

Thanks,
Brian

Photo of The great disruptors
Team

hey we would like to partner with you and see how we can create a hybrid because sound more like you have developed an idea close to ours we are implementing in Zambia

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

Thanks a lot. I would love that. 

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

Thanks a lot. I would love that. 

Photo of The great disruptors
Team

we are about to start implementing in Zambia now hence we can seriously consider getting an MOU going soon

Photo of Jenny Adaobi
Team

That would be great. Do forward me what you propose and how you think we can partner with you. You can use this email ask4jennie@yahoo.com .

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Jenny, interesting post! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story with higher impact. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.