Farmers now have global platform to sell produce

Farmers now have global platform to sell produce

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Farmers across the island who have been complaining about being unable to reach markets due to COVID-19 now have a global platform called OEXONE that they can join to upload and list their crop outputs, take orders, and receive payments directly to their bank accounts from buyers around the world.

The OEXONE platform facilitates diaspora trade, commerce and investment opportunities. Its key features are market-driven network capacity, driving consensus, and addressing gaps that will enable shared business processes, and optimise contractual transactions from simple purchase-to-pay (P2P) operations to enterprise business-to-business (B2B) transactions.

The OEXONE platform was established as a non-denominational, non-biased regional platform for trade, investments, marketing, value-chain capacity building and payment services that handle local, cross-border import and export transactions.

OEXONE also offers access to a brokerage firm for export items to be taken by farmers, which handles the various processes such as packing and logistics.

Founder/Chief Executive Officer, Robert Kibo Thompson, is the mastermind behind OEXONE, which was launched on July 15 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

Thompson, a marketer by trade, says he strongly believes Jamaica has the potential to produce more and export more.

In keeping with that, he knew one of the roles he could play was creating a new technology-driven platform to which Jamaican farmers can connect and access buyers across the world, and that he did.

“When I realised how many imports were coming into Jamaica, in particular the fresh produce side, and that we could have produced most of these goods here and turned around and exported them as well, and also the fact that there's a small number of producers and manufacturers that actually have access to markets… [I registered] OEXONE [with a] mandate to create a platform that gives global access to markets with an efficient process in place,” he said.
He saids since the launch last month, local farmers have been responding positively to OEXONE and almost 600 farmers have already signed on.

“We're getting sign-ups every day and we find that the younger farmers are coming on board because the younger farmers know and see that there's an opportunity in food, and food security is very critical… . They are looking at how technology can give them better leverage to greater market access,” he said.

Thompson, who has been an exporter for years, added that this concept first came to mind 10 years ago when he started exploring with different markets.

“I used to design labels for other processors and manufacturers and I got exposed while those clients were growing and increasing their actual products. I realised that they were looking to export more, so that's when I got involved in the sauces, and in terms of understanding, from an economical perspective, if we are to grow, we would outgrow our local space, but not outgrow an international space,” he argued.

“Hence, when I looked at technology, commerce, how Amazon was growing, how eBay was growing, how these e-commerce platforms that exist around the world kept on growing and growing, then I decided to get involved in it, as I built websites for people,” he said.

As a result of COVID-19, the multiple benefits of OEXONE are easily being realised by those who use it.

“COVID kind of exposed the reality of it all. We need to look externally and we understand now that there is a food security issue… hence the application of OEXONE within the market space, the application of easy access to e-commerce,” Thompson noted.


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