Agriculture and E-commerce: Understanding the Role of Digital Marketplaces in Modern Farming

Role of Digital Marketplaces in Modern Farming

The digital marketplace and e-commerce are transforming the agriculture industry. As agri-fintech companies develop technologies specifically designed for agriculture, farmers and agribusinesses receive many benefits. Agriculture technology and agriculture experts seek to make the industry more productive, profitable and sustainable. Over the past few decades, advancements in machinery and on-farm technology have been transformative, but there is a new push in modern farming for financial digital technologies. With 60% of farmers currently receiving cash payments, there is still work to be done in the area of e-commerce and digital marketplaces.

Market Access

Selling products online automatically broadens the customer base, which provides potential for increased profits for farmers and agribusinesses. As agribusiness responded to global challenges over the past few years, e-commerce moved from a want to a need. Digital marketplaces and companies that were already established like Lulus Local Food began to take off in response to these challenges. Initiatives like Lulus seek to take agricultural product sales online, which expands market access for farmers and agribusinesses. Another example is Farmers Trend Virtual Agrovet that is transforming the way agrovets and farmers do business. The multivendor ecommerce platform offers an online market place that focuses on animal and plant health products to promote small farmers and agro-vendors in Kenya.

Online Payments

Digital marketplaces and e-commerce are making it easier for farmers to receive payments for products. For the farmer, digital payments are shown to save the farmer money and allow them to track transactions easier. Getting such technologies into developing countries presents a challenge where there may not be internet available and access to devices. While digital payments within the industry are gaining significant momentum, there is still education and strategic implementation of such technologies needed in many parts of the world.

Information Access

As digital marketplaces and e-commerce become more prevalent, a significant amount of tracking and data within the industry is collected. This is useful for farmers because they can access information about market trends to influence their practices. Data collection analytics also provide farmers and agribusinesses with information on sales and customer demographics. With this information, they can make informed decisions to address challenges, increase sales, and ultimately improve profitability.

Final Thoughts

Agriculture technology, specifically integration of e-commerce and digital platforms are transforming the industry. As agribusinesses and agri-fintech companies explore new products, productivity and profitability will increase. There are challenges to integrating digital technologies, such as the time it takes to implement, the initial investment, cybersecurity, technical support, and more. Despite the challenges, the digital revolution within agriculture and among farmers and agribusinesses will continue to be a trend in the coming years.

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