The National Incubation Center in Islamabad organizes a startup competition named Hacktivate every year. The Hackathon’s topic this year was Agriculture. The contest was held at the end of November and was renamed Hacktivate 3.0.
Hacktivate 3.0’s objective was to find realistic and creative solutions to the problems that are being faced by the Agricultural Sector in Pakistan. The NIC website reads: “We want to expand technology implementation in agriculture by promoting innovation and collaboration.”
Through their competitions, they also strive to link key stakeholders to the related startups.
A company by the name of CropDrop, won this year’s Hacktivate.
CropDrop is a startup based in Islamabad that aims to digitally revolutionize the supply chain of fresh produce in Pakistan. It is a business-to-business (B2B) network that effectively directly produces quality goods from farmers and provides affordable prices to urban retailers, enterprises, and service providers.
The startup has an online web application for e-commerce; buyers and suppliers in the country can register with CropDrop through this portal. CropDrop then buys the produce from farmers in the country’s rural areas and supplies it to sellers in towns, cities and villages.
Within Pakistan, CropDrop is the first of its kind. By buying directly from them and linking them to various sellers from a single site, the company aims to allow increased benefits for farmers, thus growing their revenue.
CropDrop also supports retailers because it reduces their transport costs and brings them straight to their doorstep. CropDrop also provides reasonable prices, high-quality graded goods and decreases the time they are shipped and processed.
Consumers of goods supplied by CropDrop, in addition to retailers and producers, are promised hygienically treated products which can be tracked directly back to their plant. CropDrop also allows customers at a more affordable price to get higher quality produce.
Pakistan is a country that accounts for 18.9 percent of its gross domestic product, based on its agricultural sector (GDP). Within the region, 42.3 percent of the labour force works in the agricultural sector. In addition, agriculture is also an important source of foreign exchange income for the country, as it not only generates income on its own but also stimulates growth in other sectors of the country’s economy.
Because of time and transportation constraints, many farmers across the country struggle to achieve their business’s full potential. Similarly, in shipping prices, retailers around major cities lose a lot of money because they typically have to buy different products from different places. Because of logistical limitations, they often struggle to get the best quality produce.
With the aid of the NIC, companies such as CropDrop seek to make the lives of farmers, retailers and customers easier by transforming their perceptions and obligations digitally. They also help Pakistan progress towards a more stable future.