The Digital AgTech Meetup organized by AgriClear and USAID’s KISAN II project was successfully held on 29th April 2022 at Shangri La Blu Hotel, Sanepa, Lalitpur. This networking event aimed to bring key digital agriculture technology providers in Nepal together to share information about available agriculture applications, discuss their progress and challenges, and identify collaborative opportunities. The event was moderated by Ms. Pragya Gyawali, PR and Communications Coordinator at Rumsan Associates.
The meetup was commenced by Ms. Alexis Ellicott, Chief of Party KISAN II project USAID Nepal. The event was divided into three sections, Introduction to AgTech Firms, a presentation on the Importance of Collaborative Marketing for Adoption of Ag-tech Solutions, and a roundtable discussion on the topic Challenge Faced by AgTech Companies and the Way Forward.
In the first section of the event, representatives from AgriClear, Kheti, Shree Kisan Innovation Hub, Smart Krishi, and Upaya City Cargo presented about their digital agro-products, services, challenges, and opportunities they have faced so far. Some of the challenges they faced were, change management, getting stakeholders on board, and others. Likewise, the opportunities were creating a transparent agro-economy, digitizing the agricultural process, automation, engaging government bodies e.t.c.
The presentation on ‘Importance of Collaborative Marketing for Adoption of AgTech Solutions’ was presented by Mr. Prakhyat Jung Thapa, Senior Business Opportunities Manager, USAID’s KISAN II project. He highlighted the barriers encountered during the adoption of AgTech Solutions such as low awareness of agricultural technology, behavior change, and opportunities such as involvement of young and educated farmers and increased use of social networking sites. Further he shared an idea of how agtech organizations can focus on increasing adoption and deal with the challenges with collaborative marketing, for instance sharing data resources.
The last session of the meetup was a roundtable discussion on the topic Challenge Faced by AgTech Companies and the Way Forward. Mr. Sanam Chitrakar from Biruwa Advisors facilitated the discussion. He started the discussion with a question to the audience, “Do you understand farmer’s behavior?” “As a product developer what are the issues and challenges you are facing?” He further discussed the behavioral change of the farmers and stakeholders, the challenges of entertaining and filtering the early adopter and TikTok trend youth, and the marketing of AgTech firms and the budget they spend on it. He further asked the audience to evaluate the channels by calculating the pros and cons of the marketing or any activities related to the product or services on the basis of consumers, explaining the importance of the target market for a company, project, or product. He also threw the idea of creating an open market for the AgTech firms in the Nepalese Market. He further discussed how the participants and the presenters at the event can continue this sort of event for a long-term purpose.
At the end of the event, Mrs. Sunita Nhemaphuki shared her thoughts on the meetup and raised the topic of being self-independent on our own projects and how INGOs and NGOs can help the companies to expand their services and create an ecosystem. Likewise, Mr. Ruchin Singh, Co-founder of AgriClear did a vote of thanks for the event focusing on the importance of maintaining a close relationship among the AgTech companies to help create a working ecosystem in the market.