Malaysians win 2019 Apec App Challenge

LANGKAWI: It is a timely occasion for Malaysia as it prepares to host Apec 2020 when two local talented web and mobile app developers are declared winners of the 2019 Apec Digital Prosperity Award.

Faezrah Rizalman and Jeannette Goon have been named winners in recognition of Bayu Harvest, a mobile app and e-commerce platform designed to help women smallholder farmers move products into a high value supply chain.

Faezrah and Goon developed Bayu Harvest during the 2019 Apec App Challenge, a 24-hour competition hosted by Apec, the Chilean government, The Asia Foundation and Google in Viña del Mar, Chile, in May.

The challenge brought together nearly two dozen teams from across the Asia-Pacific region in a competition to create mobile and web apps which can help women entrepreneurs grow their business.

The award ceremony was officiated by Apec 2020 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) chair Hairil Yahri Yaacob, witnessed by Apec Chile 2019 SOM chair Mathias Francke at the SOM Dedicated Session on Post-2020 Vision here yesterday.

Also present was Apec Secretariat executive director Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.

Faezrah, who is from Sabah, said the idea to develop Bayu Harvest came about when she was frequently asked by women farmers in the state on how to improve their income and livelihood.

“In Sabah, farmers usually sell their produce to the middlemen who would acquire the harvest in large quantity but at the lowest price.

“Bayu Harvest was created to provide a platform so that the farmers can manage their produce as well as learn to be entrepreneurs, pricing for their crops, and how to brand and market their products.”

Goon, who is an experienced digital entrepreneur from Kuala Lumpur, said when they had the opportunity to go for the challenge, they brainstormed on how technology could help these women.

“Bayu Harvest is a very light weight app so they don’t need the best internet connection, or a lot memory space on their phones and it is something that is very usable for them.” — Bernama

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