A perfect market is an ideal situation where everyone has access to true and perfect information. The market has no adverse selection and moral hazard. The idea may seem very utopian, but it’s not, we can, in fact, get very close to the perfect market by making adequate use of information technology. Want to know how exactly?
Read our conversation with Dewendra Chaudhary, the ideator and founder of Kisan ICT, and you may just change your mind.
1. Tell me about Kisan ICT and your journey for starting your ventures? When did it start?
The main objective of Kisan ICT is to bring all the individuals related to agriculture, like the framers, agriculture students, agriculture experts, businesspersons, government bodies and the normal customers who consume agricultural bodies, to one common platform.
I am a computer engineer by profession, but my family comes from an agricultural background. I wanted to go back to my roots and explore possibilities in the agriculture sector, but from someone who has been coding and programming half his life, moving to a completely new field was quite overwhelming. However, my father was always there to guide me in the beginning.
So, while trying to integrate my skills of information and technology and my ancestors’ skill in the agriculture sector, I came up with the idea of Kisan ICT.
2. What social change do you see your product or service can bring in society?
Through Kisan ICT, I am trying to solve problems faced by the farmers mainly with regard to the market value of their products. Farmers fail to receive real value for their products, in fact, they get a minimum percentage of the product’s market price. So I am trying to communicate and create price transparency for all concerned parties through Kisan ICT.
Similarly, we often see that due to lack of market management system farmers are forced to sell their produce, whenever they get an opportunity to sell, and mostly it is below the market price. We are trying to create a centralized market to sell agricultural products. So, the farmers get true information on the market value for their produce.
We are also trying to bridge the communication gap between the government and local farmers. So, Kisan ICT is seeking to solve these problems by ensuring better connectivity for poor local farmers.
3. How will your idea solve the social problem that you are trying to solve?
Kisan ICT will be able to eradicate certain, if not all challenges that the poor and marginalized farmers face by bringing farmers from all over Nepal to one particular platform.
We are planning to carry out the solution by obtaining the database of the farmers maintained by organizations like Krishi Gyan Kendra, Ministry of Agriculture, and by sharing the information with each and every farmer. At present, 63% of Nepal’s population has access to the internet and smartphone. So, by taking advantage of this increased digitization and digital literacy, I will work to solve the problems using Kisan ICT.
Through Kisan ICT, middlemen will be eliminated, and both farmers and customers will receive a fair price.
4. What is the legal status of your company? What is your current staff strength and how many people did you start with?
Kisan ICT is still in its ideation and research phase, and I am working on the application’s background. We are not registered as a company as of now.
As Kisan ICT is at its very early stage I am solely working on it.
5. How do you plan to raise funds to start your company? What are the challenges that you are facing?
Firstly, I am thinking of self-investment. However, I am also looking for investors interested in the agricultural sector. I am also in talks with my friends in the US regarding crowdfunding.
The major challenge comes from a lack of basic infrastructures like road, electricity, and connectivity, despite my farm is just 5kms away from the city area.
6. Who are your target customers?
Our major target customers are marginalized and the poor farmers who do not get fair value for their products and services. In addition to this, Kisan ICT will also focus on all the individuals who are involved in the agricultural sector.
7. What is the future plan for your company?
I am planning to collaborate with my friends working in the IT sector. I am also planning to register Kisan ICT as an IT company and offer freelancing services.
8. Do you consider yourself as a Social Entrepreneur? What are your thoughts about impact measurement?
I do consider myself a social entrepreneur. I haven’t really thought about measuring the impact as the product is still in the idea phase.