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JIS News

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) is developing its Information System (JASIS) which, when completed, will link potential buyers and farmers of all agricultural products, including livestock and produce.
Speaking with JIS News, Noel Watson, Chairman of A to Z Information Jamaica Limited, designers of the system, said there was a need for such a system, as a survey conducted by his organization showed that farmers often suffered losses, because they are unable to find adequate markets.
He said that while those farmers struggled to sell their products, there were persons across the island who needed them, but the two groups had no information on each other and were therefore unable to trade.
“This system that we are working on will give farmers the opportunity to call a number, follow simple instructions and leave a message giving name, location, commodity and quantity to be sold, along with price and a contact number,” he explained.
On submission of this information, purchasers, including hotels, supermarkets and higglers who buy these items will be given access to the system, so as to make a purchase.
“It’s a very simple system where you use the phone line as a marketplace to clear goods and allow purchasers to find what they are looking for,” he pointed out, adding that this could be done not only with land lines but also from cellular phones.
The Chairman said the partnership between the JAS and the communication entity was unique, as the JAS already had offices along with the necessary personnel across the island, who could introduce the service to the farmers.
“The JAS officers can even go to farmers and conduct test runs and monitor the system and assist in linking producers with suppliers,” he said.
Apart from facilitating trade, the system will also be used to provide relevant information to farmers on what is happening in the sector. Additionally, the facility will be used to buy and sell farm machines and provide an events calendar for the JAS.
As a result of the benefits to be gained, the Chairman is encouraging all farmers to utilize the system when it is set up.