ITC launches Jokkalante Market Platform
By Sulayman Waan
The International Trade Centre (ITC) in partnership with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment on 13th June 2023 launched the Jokkalante Market Platform at Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo.
The innovative platform funded by the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is set to revolutionize agricultural trade in The Gambia by connecting farmers, buyers, transporters, for efficiency and growth in the agricultural value chain.
It offers a comprehensive set of functionalities that facilitates seamless collaboration and boosts market linkages in the country’s horticultural sector. By simply accessing the platform through WhatsApp or visiting the website, farmers, buyers, and service providers can easily connect and engage in agricultural trade activities.
The platform’s WhatsApp number, +220 529 3333 allows users to register and access the various features and services,” ITC said in a statement availed to this medium.
The plaform will ensure direct contact between farmers and buyers, enabling local market linkages and efficient transportation solutions to connect buyers and farmers with transporters for logistics and timely delivery of agricultural goods and access to financial services and provide information and guidance on financial service providers.
The platform also provide access to market price information through collaboration with Roots.
The Jokkalante Market Platform eliminates traditional barriers to trade and benefits the entire agricultural value chain. A significant milestone in advancing the country’s horticultural sector, the e-commerce platform paves the way for increased market access, improved productivity, and economic empowerment for farmers, buyers, and service providers.
‘E-commerce is an increasingly important aspect of today’s economy. It offers opportunities to overcome traditional obstacles to trade, including the costs associated with physical distance. This opens unprecedented opportunities for businesses to engage in cross-border trade. The Jokkalante Market Platform has been developed within The Gambia, taking into account the unique needs of our local context.
SLamin Dampha, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade, The Gambia said :”The goal of the Jokkalante Market Platform is to boost local production by improving market linkages. With its user-friendly WhatsApp bot, the platform makes it easy for farmers to connect with buyers, promoting the sale of local produce. By simplifying the trade process, we empower farmers and contribute to the growth of the horticultural sector in The Gambia.”
Milena Niehaus, ITC, Project Manager for Jokkalante said: “Before, we had to go to neighbouring countries to source horticultural products. That has changed with the launch of the Jokkalante Market platform. Now, we are able to buy from local producers through the platform.”
Isatou Nyassi, a buyer said: “‘Marketing is a challenge for every producer, and the platform has come to address this challenge. It is really helping us because it is user-friendly. The platform has started yielding fruits, and we have started using it to sell our produce.”