PETALING JAYA: AirAsia has initiated Ourfarm, an e-commerce platform to help connect farmers directly with businesses, eliminate the middleman and boost their earning power.
The e-platform was launched by Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, AirAsia Group executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and AirAsia Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes at the Serdang Agriculture Department yesterday.
Set up as a strategic partnership with the ministry, it supports over 1,000 government contract farmers as well as owners of private farms.
Kamarudin called the platform a “disruptor” that would help many small businesses reduce the cost of fresh produce procurement by up to 25% by sourcing directly from the agriculture producers.
“Ourfarm will help increase the profit margin of agriculture producers by eliminating the middleman cost. This platform provides a more efficient supply chain management system which supports the food security agenda of the nation, ” he said.
AirAsia Group, he said, planned to expand the platform to support farmers in the Asean region.
“We have learnt from the experience of running our in-flight meal catering and our Santan Cafe, where we also faced challenges of high prices for fresh produce, ” he said.
Lauding AirAsia Group, Kiandee said the partnership would create a new ecosystem that could help agribusinesses expand.
“The ministry has been proactive in engaging industry players, especially in helping to match businesses to e-commerce platforms on both the business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) fronts, ” he said in his opening speech.
Leveraging on AirAsia’s ecosystem, including cargo, logistics and payment capabilities, and its database of businesses and consumers, Ourfarm boasts a network of 7,000 lorries and pickup trucks that can be mobilised within 60 minutes to perform pickup and delivery.
Ourfarm co-founders Radzi Tajuddin and Nadhir Ashafiq said such a disruption was timely, adding that farmers, breeders and fishermen shared only a small pie in the food supply ecosystem.
“This ensures the freshness of the product while at the same time providing cost savings to our farmers, ” said Radzi.
For now, Ourfarm operates only in the Klang Valley.
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