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Jessore Field Visit || Business Development Team
We, the Business Development team of iFarmer, who always keep themselves busy with client communication and cross functional activities, finally got the opportunity to go to the root and visit the superheroes (our Farmers). It was a great experience for us to visit Jessore and feel the impact of iFarmer on the Agro soldiers (our Farmers) of Bangladesh. Our team’s very first field visit was full of proud moments and gave us rays of hope for our nation to become the best Agro based country in the world someday.
Day 1; Attending workshop regarding Sofol:
Our team reached Jessore on June 21, 2022. After we set foot on Jessore land, the first thing that touched our minds was the weather; it was bright, sunny and a little windy at the same time. Our first day was not very hectic since we attended a workshop where our product team was taking a session on Sofol App. We got to know what challenges our facilitators face during onboarding farmers through the Sofol App. Sofol is basically a bridge between the local farmers and iFarmer. Facilitators play a very important role in terms of bringing in farmers through Sofol. They find out the potential farmers whom we can facilitate and connect them with us. We witnessed how amazingly our product team members made the facilitators understand the use of the Sofol App. Later on, we got introduced with the facilitators and had a little chit chat with them regarding their experience of working with iFarmer.
Attending the workshop was basically an introductory session of the iFarmer business development team with the facilitators for the first time - as we work from the HQ and most of us never got the chance to meet them. So, the very first day of our field could not go any wrong.
Day 2; Visiting iFarmer Centers & a few farms of our enlisted farmers:
The second day started by visiting one of our prominent female Agri Input retailers of iFarmer Center named Aleya with our one and only female facilitator, Ms.Jasmin. Aleya is a great inspiration to the women around her. She started working with agriculture in 2014 and was doing alright throughout the years. During the pandemic in 2020, Aleya faced certain losses in her business and was looking for an opportunity to turn back her faith. Finally, she got the help of iFarmer and currently is living a good life with her family. She is a proud owner of a huge Agri input shop now. Seeing Aleya turning her fate upwards after such a disaster actually made us feel really proud of the iFarmer team. In fact, seeing her grow, a lot of other female households are coming forward to work with us and become self dependent.
Soon after meeting up with Aleya, we headed to visit a few iFarmer centers. iFamer centers are also considered as Agri input shops where our retailers sell agri input products. Besides, iFarmer centers also work as a one stop solution where our farmers can come and get any help related to farming, be it inputs, advisory or other queries.
On that very day, we also visited one of our enlisted farmers, Mr. Dobir Hossain’s Dragon fruit garden. We were mesmerized after seeing the garden; it was honestly a great treat to the eyes! We tasted the fruits directly from the trees. This experience could not get any better!
Later that day, we visited the flower Garden of Garbera. The place was indeed a real beauty.The pictures we see on our website or Facebook page can never portray the real beauty of what we saw inside the garden.
Don’t you sometimes see farms of Agricultural Machinery like; spray machines, swallow pumps etc in our app? Yes, we got to visit them as well. Right beside the flower garden, we saw the farmers working with spray machines. We could not wait to try them out by ourselves.
Cherry on top, we got to try out the local food from the local restaurants in Jessore every now and then. We also traveled by tricycle van and tuktuk. However, the heat was very scorching during the time we were exploring the places, and we certainly could feel what the farmers go through while they are working in the fields under the same weather conditions just to ensure food on our plate.
Day 3; Meeting with our registered farmers and getting to know their stories of struggle & success:
On the third day, we visited a few of our enlisted farmers who were facilitated by iFarmer and are now leading a stable life. We tagged along with our Impact team and got the chance to see how they talk with the farmers to life stories of the farmers. It was a divine feeling when we witnessed these farmers and their families living with a standard lifestyle by the support of team iFarmer. We introduced ourselves to them and shared our story on how we communicate with clients. Most importantly, they are very humble in nature and their hospitality made us feel so good. It certainly worked as a boost to work harder for these people, right after knowing them so closely.
It is very important to feel the people you are working for and witness with your own eyes the impact of your work on them. There were certain observations from our visit which are as follows:
These Farmers have a unique business structure which can make them lead a good life, but due to having low or no working capital, these farmers do not get to work properly. iFarmer is helping these farmers by lending the capital, farming advisory support and modern day farming tools which are helping these farmers grow extensively and rapidly.
Bangladesh is mostly an agriculture based country and is a land of farmers. Due to the lack of access to finance, modern farming techniques, and fair market access, all these farmers face a lot of difficulty with their work. Hence, the future generation of these farmers might not be interested anymore in farming, thus, we may lose our very own agriculture industry someday. iFarmer is actually working on saving this industry by fulfilling all the necessary needs of these farmers and creating awareness.
Our farmers are very punctual and dedicated when it come to farming and harvesting on a seasonal basis. However, due to the sudden weather changes in our country, farmers tend to face a lot of difficulties which seems unbearable. But we really hope iFarmer's advisory service, weather updates comes beneficial to the farmers to overcome this issue.
We would really like to thank iFarmer for arranging such an amazing field trip which gave us actual knowledge of farming, taught us about the farmer’s lifestyle and the hardships they go through on a regular basis.