Putting ‘e’ on agribusiness

3 Oct

Agriculture based business is one of the important keys of Indonesia agricultural development. When Indonesia was hit by monetary crisis in the last year of 1997, agribusiness became good alternative for entrepreneurs to start or divert they business orientation. Faraway before this tragedy, actually agriculture has been a basic mindset of Indonesian culture. The types of land are definitely very useful to fulfill food needs themselves or to encourage export of agricultural commodities. As an agribusiness is business, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) does matter. Firms can apply them to save costs when they conduct market research, organize export processes, and manage payments and customer relations.

Recognizing the potential of ICTs is one thing; applying them to boost the bottom line is another. Faced with a sometimes bewildering choice of e- business solutions, small exporters need to know which applications will boost visibility, improve efficiency or enhance products. They cover a wide range: developing a web site; using business-to business e-marketplaces; using mobile phones to manage supply and distribution chains; and more.

ICTs also open up new opportunities to export e-related products and services, such as computer components, software programming and back-office services. But unless they’re informed and competent in using ICTs, firms can’t take advantage of new opportunities. In developing countries, where Internet connections are often limited or expensive, it can be a major challenge to develop an e-culture and apply “e” creatively to trade. Putting “e” to work for trade doesn’t happen automatically: countries need to manage the process. They need e-trade strategies that go beyond the issue of connectivity and address business realities like trust, costs and industry structures. They need the essentials such as access to finance, roads, transport and energy. With these foundations in place, ICTs can help developing country Firms Bridge the digital divide and leapfrog growth.

Now, what internet can doing for farm and agribusiness
1.    Information Sharing

•    E-mail communication
•    Electronic Business Card
•    Sell yourself, commodities, products and management
•    Provide information and data to all levels of food chain

•    Educate general public (i.e., environmental stewardship, community involvement)
2.    Distance Education
3.    Buying/Selling Products and Services
4.    Marketing Commodities
5.    Data Storage and Decision Making

Whether we ready or not, ICTs will speed full progress and take a role for future trade.  The orientation is not only commercial (e-commerce) but e-business. E-business is the conduct of business on the internet; also include the exchange of information not directly to the actual buying and selling goods. Increasingly, business is using electronic mechanism to distribute information and provide customer support. The electronics term of business having significant effect on many businesses and industries. We can divide e-business into 4 models in relationship between manufacturers, input Supplier, Producer, Product, Handler Processor and Consumer, there are:
•    Business-to-Consumer (B2C)
•    Business-to-Business (B2B)
•    Business-to-Government (B2G)
•    Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C)
On implementation of agribusiness we can choose one of e-business model above, each model have different relationship of business. We also should recognize about the agricultural product itself.

Preparation for e-agribusiness implementation in Indonesia

E-readiness
If a country is e-ready in terms of its population’s culture and skills, it’s more likely to apply ICTs successfully to trade. Governments need to invest in e-literacy drives, for example, by switching to e-government services. Government roles to prepare this readiness:

  • •   Standardizing
  • •    [de]Regulation, guidelines
  • •    Build and Maintaining infrastructure
  • •    Incentive
  • •    Initiative

E-trade strategy

Governments should implement a legal and regulatory framework that promotes, rather than blocks, e-trade. Export strategy-makers need to adopt an e-business vision and practical plans to help the business community take up “e”, starting with advocacy to raise awareness. To move from awareness to action, exporters need technology applications that work in their local environment and opportunities to learn from others. When integrating “e” in business, they may not need the most expensive technology — just the most appropriate.

To move to e-competence, exporters need training and information about e-business skills and issues such as trust and security.

1.     E-Commerce
Even Indonesia is one of the developing countries; internet is again not tame things, especially for the big cities. About 5 millions people are friendly using internet connection for every single occasion; small number for Indonesian population, but not bad for developing country. Potential market in Indonesia is also become one reason to apply this kind of feature. Even its hard to apply consumer to consumer or business to consumer feature, Indonesia still have more chance to feel another features e-business application by using internet. E-trading will be the alternative for the consumer to buy something they need, especially for ‘modern’ people and busy man. Indonesian potency for e-commerce:
•    Application development, Services, local and global contents
•    Digital Community enlargement
•    Human resources Supplies

2.    System Information of e-agribusiness
Nowadays, information not only important but it is already become our need. World connected each other by information. Without information you are zero. So that, why the problem of most people is not because they not smart enough, but it is because they really don’t know or haven’t willingness to know more. It is also happen on our agriculture sector in Indonesia. As agriculture based country, generally Indonesia has been not taking care about information progress. We still facing the reality that farmer is not good enough to know about information of culture, pesticide, current issue of agriculture sector and also pricing. The last one is a problem on post-harvest problem against Indonesian farmer. While we busy on facing these problems, technology leave us behind uncompromised. Will we give up? Absolutely NO and don’t be ever, otherwise we can utilize the technology to pursue about our abandonment. SMS (Short Message Service) is one of the simple technologies that we can use to be applied. It’s usually the exact feature on cellular phone, from the old one to modern.  Cellular phone is not become a luxurious device, more than that it could be need.

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