Fresh fruits export promotion challenge
Describe the problem that you want to address. How does this problem effect people in their daily lives?

Asymmetries in terms of information and access to it in the fresh fruits production and export segment are strikingly high. With the export ban of the Russian Federation, such asymmetries increased even more, because Moldovan exporters lost their traditional markets and suddenly need to face competition on new markets, which are more competitive. Lack of a clear and functional mechanism to promote exports in fresh fruits, support to small size producers for access to modern technologies in fresh fruit production and exports and information asymmetries are negatively impacting both producers and exporters and communities in which these operate. At the moment, in Moldova there are about 150 micro and medium size producers and exporters in fresh fruits, which are connected in a professional association, but which are almost disconnected with the external export markets for few reasons: (a) non-uniform quality of the fresh produce and lack of cooperation to create sufficiently large quantities of same produce to match the demand from abroad, (b) lack of up-to-date information on prices for various commodities, both at home and abroad, (c) lack of access to information on the most up-to-date technologies and related asymmetries of information and (d) existing network of export/sales intermediaries controlling the price for fresh produce and (e) significant changes in exports markets and need to diversify and reorient exports to new markets. Many of these micro and small producers have therefore difficulty in accessing domestic and foreign markets and generate sufficient revenues to cover production costs and benefit their communities by offering jobs and payment of taxes. In terms of technological endowments of the company and modernization needs, the categories of technologies are very clear and mainly related to pre-harvesting, harvesting and post-harvesting periods with clear and already prioritized technological solutions. The problem here is access to providers and data on variations of technological parameters and price. In terms of export markets, the existing association keeps track of a multitude of vendors on the market and potential customers, but is not capable to regularly update in the post-harvesting period and make such information instantly available to all members. For this each member shall be able to provide his data online, including quality parameters, price, quantity, etc.

Describe your proposed solution – How does your approach build on or add to more traditional ways of dealing with problem?

Online Web platform structured on two compartments: advanced technologies (for pre-, harvesting and post-harvesting) and export markets (to contain local detailed offers and information on demand). Such platform is expected by end-users to have a major impact on speed of transfer of modern technologies, their implementation and increase and diversification in exports, and access to all relevant data for prompt technological and export-related decisions. Based on initial assessment of the potential impact with management of the association and selective members, the Platform would permit to increase exports outside traditional market by at least 20% (mainly EU and middle-East), reduce cost of imported technologies on the side of the producers by at least 10%, reduce export prices by at least 20% through increased competition conditions for existing intermediaries or eventually elimination of costly intermediaries and creation of new and more technologically challenging jobs.

Which technologies are you planning to use and why? Please make reference to other similar uses of your proposed technology.

Very good examples of somewhat similar platforms are available in Netherlands, e.g. https://www.service2fruit.com/, only focused on sales and exports, with a robust biding system and a variety of services, including storage, transfer, cooling, sorting and packaging and other. The association has prepared a list of similar platforms so that to be able to develop a detailed concept for the Moldovan one, by using already tested approaches to a variety of business processes. Same technologies as applied for the construction and management of the above-mentioned platform will be implemented in our case. The management of the association will overtake the entire platform once this is developed and tested, by directly involving its marketing and sales specialists and active members. The solution is new as it focuses on a very narrow, but at same most dynamic, agricultural segment. No such platforms are available at the moment at national level.