Phone app to help connect Colombian farmers to buyers

Global Business

Getting produce from a farm to a dinner table involves many third parties taking a cut. What if an app could bridge the gap between farmer and consumer? 

CGTN’s Michelle Begue has more details.

Getting organic vegetables and fruits at a fair price is not only fair for the consumer but for the farmer as well. Natasha Guseva, a Russian living in Colombia believes that the only way to do this is by cutting out the middleman, who is taking the largest chunk of profits from farmers.

With this goal, Guseva founded Huertapp. “Sometimes big chains, supermarkets and customers pay them only 10 percent of the final price of the product. And we are trying to change that by selling the product directly from the farmers to the customers in the city. And we are using technology to solve that issue.”

That is how the website and smartphone application called Huerta- which means orchard in Spanish – got started.

The user of the app has the option to purchase a small, medium or large basket of assorted fruits and vegetables. Delivery orders are fulfilled only twice a week. There are no storage units, so the produce is fresh – coming directly from nearby farms.

“Especially, when we are talking about organic products, that are really natural, so you have to consume them very fresh so in that case we need really good logistics and delivery system for the project,” Guseva said.

Small Colombian farmers like Arturo Lopez are relying on local farmers markets to sell their produce directly to consumers. But transportation alone is expensive because of Colombia’s limited infrastructure.

Colombian farmer CLIP COO Arturo Lopez explains why the transportation process can be expensive sometimes. “The roads are in a poor state. Especially during this rainy winter season, so the cost of transportation goes up.”

New technology platforms like Huertapp can put a farmer in touch with a larger consumer base without even having to leave their home. The founders of Huerta say they have 120 farming families on outside of Bogota who fulfill the constant demand of 500 orders of produce a month.

“My wish overall is to have economic stability because on a farm you don’t get paid a salary and my only income is agricultural which is an industry full of uncertainty at times and patience,” said Lopez.

Huertapp’s goal is to sell an average of one thousand baskets a month in Bogot by the end of the year, before expanding this type of fair trade model across the country.