As a part of the COVID-19 recovery programme, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean is focusing on the economic transformation and recovery of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). This involves a strong push towards digitizing MSME operations under the #eFUTURE initiative launched last week.  

            Within the banner of economic transformation and recovery, emphasis will be placed on addressing the needs of the fisheries and agricultural sectors, which are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 shocks due to declining tourism levels. The resulting loss of an important market due to hotel and restaurant closures, has been further compounded by the introduction of new but necessary safety measures, including reduced market hours. This has not only caused disruption in the supply chain but also compromised the ability of fisherfolk and farmers across the region to physically interact with their customers.

            Responding to the public concerns voiced about the current situation, Farmfinder Global Inc powered by UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has launched a new platform through which fisherfolk and farmers can market, sell and arrange delivery of their produce at no additional cost. As an international Not-for-Profit organization based in Barbados, Farmfinder enhances the operations of farming and agricultural sectors through an online platform connecting producers with buyers. Through this partnership, Farmfinder will expand its operations and zero in on building the capacity of fisherfolk and farmers to more efficiently and safely offer goods to consumers. This will include publicly available training, such as webinars on how to pivot business operations using digital tools. Individuals will also be familiarised with the Farmfinder e-commerce platform in order to connect supply with demand. Lastly, emphasis will be placed on quality control through the implementation of a traceability and sustainability stamp feature.

    In practice, the Farmfinder system works by listing available goods that customers can order online and have delivered to their homes, a much-needed service in the context of COVID-19. Once an order has been placed, the closest fisher or farmer to the delivery location is sourced, ensuring a quick and efficient end-to-end process.

    By re-tooling fisherfolk and farmers and providing them with alternative digital options to ply their trade, the intention is to protect livelihoods and ensure business continuity while introducing future growth opportunities. Given the predicted long-term effects of COVID-19, this initiative aims at better equipping Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean for the #eFUTURE.

 

Learn More:

To find out more about Farmfinder, please visit:                                   https://farmfinderglobal.org/register-as-a-member

Farmfinder can be reached via WhatsApp at: +1 (246)-843-5093.

Further details on the UNDP’s partnership with Farmfinder can be found here

Click the image below if you wish to learn more and potentially take advantage of this platform during and post COVID-19.

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