Website Mockup - Farmer Version
This is a Mockup of a possible website portal for grain farmers to use our product! This allows them to see their possible risk areas and then an easy access to purchase cattle - all from one page!
We are building an online marketplace for agricultural production contracts to address two main customer problems: excessive income volatility for small farmers, and obstacles preventing individuals outside agriculture from ownership of crops and livestock in small increments.
Volatility in agriculture is inherently higher than volatility in other industries for several reasons (natural shocks, long production times, low elasticity, etc.), and small farmers (producers) lack access and training required to use some of the risk management tools employed by larger producers, which leads to a concentration of risk and excessive income volatility for them. This problem is especially acute for farmers in developing countries who lack even basic risk management tools.
It is also difficult for outside individuals to directly participate in agriculture. Transactions between unfamiliar parties require complicated legal contracts that are unfeasible for small transactions. Large transaction sizes preclude many individuals from participation, and the lack of a transparent marketplace precludes those without a pre-existing relationship with an agricultural producer.
We plan to address the aforementioned problems by providing an online marketplace where the transparent exchange of small production contracts can occur in a safe and efficient manner. This platform will incorporate visualization of the users’ agricultural holdings and analysis tools to provide recommendations for their virtualized farm. The software will combine a game-like interface with functional farm management software to improve the users’ experience and lower barriers to entry for new users. User histories and reputations will be important to build trust and stored value in the network.
A production contract is an agreement between a producer, who is paid to grow a crop or raise livestock, and a contractor, who owns the agricultural product. Essentially, the producer is paid for providing services to the contractor, namely labor, management, expertise, etc. Production contracts can effectively spread a producer’s risk among a wider group of individuals, which can stabilize the producer’s income (risk reduction) while enabling outside individuals to own crops and livestock without needing to relocate or make large investments to achieve economies of scale (improved accessibility).
The enormous size of the agricultural market and the tremendous potential of big data in agriculture have attracted many companies to the space, as shown in Figure 3. Some of the biggest competitors in the area of agricultural risk management are the providers of crop insurance, but small farmers have lower utilization rates than large farmers. There are newer insurance products based on climate events rather than estimates of crop loss, and they may be more efficient or acceptable for small farmers, but are still unproven. All of the big agricultural companies have an interest in agricultural data systems and how to incentivize farmers’ utilization of them. There are numerous providers of agricultural management and accounting software, but they are typically stand-alone offerings and thus less resilient to competition.
FarmAfield’s competitive advantage lies largely in its ability to be an end-to-end solution for risk management and decision implementation. Attracting users with our easy-to-use analytics based on public data from their geographic region, we will incentivize farm-specific data input from them by offering them free online record-keeping and management tools along with the promise of increased recommendation accuracy when using their own data rather than public data. As this data accumulates, we can use it to make more accurate predictions and more powerful suggestions for new customers, creating a network effect. The value of our large data sets and the strong network effect created by our users will attract more customers, and serve as a barrier to entry for our competition.
Our team has recently updated our website, so that it includes a new section: Grain Farmers. FarmAfield's platform will satisfy two customer groups, Consumers and Farmers. The new section of the website allows farmers to get a better idea of the price volatility reduction that our product offers. Check it out and click on 'Grain Farmers.'