On this segment of Startup Spotlight, we take a look at what’s happening over in the agriculture sector. We will be looking at sister platforms Bakhabar Kissan and Farm to Home. One thing is for sure – the digital world has the potential to revolutionize our lives.
Bakhabar Kissan (BKK), a project developed by Jazz and Switch Solutions, cuts through the agriculture value chain and tackles the problems that farmers face. The platform gives the agriculture community access to a variety of services ranging from weather information, agriculture experts, the latest pesticides, and better methods of farming. BKK also has an elaborate channel of feedback and is accessible through text, SMS, call, and WhatsApp.
As the Head of Platform at Switch Solutions Tabbish Mahmood narrates, the farming community was hesitant to join BKK at first. The farmers were reluctant to change and mostly relied on the traditional knowledge of the community and their families. To make newer technology more adaptable, BKK incorporated a feedback loop which allowed them to cater and customize according to the need of their farmers. Moreover, the platform itself is accessible in seven different languages.
BKK’s sister platform, Farm to Home, tackles the second problem that farmers face. Traditional modes of agricultural business involve middlemen who often leave a lot of space for exploitation. The farmer does not get the money for his labor, whereas the end consumer overpays for the products. F2H eliminates the middleman. It connects the farmer directly to the customer and as Khizer Alam Khan, CEO of Switch Solutions asserts, the produce is sold at a price that is acceptable to both the farmer and the buyer. The farmer gets a better and deserving source of income that can sustain his family and perhaps nudge them towards a better future.
Much like their platforms, Tabbish and Khizer reiterate that Bakhabar Kissan (BKK) and Farm to Home (F2H) are businesses dedicated to a cause. They are designed to make the lives of their customers better. BKK caters unapologetically to its farmers: it is handled by the leading voices in agricultural sciences, simplifies agricultural trends for farmers, and overall works to raise a community that is largely ignored by the digital world in Pakistan. F2H’s prime customers are people that do not have the luxury to go out but still want to make informed choices and order good, healthy produce. Both parties reap the benefits from the connection that the platform has to offer.
So why do these startups deserve the spotlight? To the very core, both these startups want to make a difference. They are focused on being accessible, relevant, and cater to the needs of their customers.