KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Corporation (JCorp) through its sub-subsidiary FarmByte Sdn Bhd will publicly launch its FarmByte Food Hub mobile app and Southern Valley brand next month, said CEO Syed Aiman Kifli Syed Jaafar (pix).
While the app had a close launch in March this year, he added it will have a public launch in October, followed closely by the rollout of a new brand in the same month.
The app allows farmers to input data, access farm log, transactions and farming assistance. It will also provide farmers with access to personalised advice and analytics as well as help expand their knowledge of expert farming practices. Data collected will then be transferred into a website which will be accessible to buyers, for the latter to purchase produce.
Currently, Aiman said that the app is in its beta stages with about 100 farmers in the programme.
“We are still collecting data to get them to test and see how they like the user experience whether it is useful for them,” he told SunBiz.
FarmByte targets to onboard around 300 users comprising farmers and buyers in two months or by year end, following the launch.
Aiman said that although initially, the app would be set within the perimeters of the Johor state, eventually the company expects to extend its services nationwide, within three to five years.
“We are a Johorean company and our testbed is Johor, but once we see that we are able to manage, the plan will go nationwide,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said the Southern Valley brand will offer fruit and vegetable produce, both in premium quality, Premium +, and normal quality.
Fruits on offer will include pineapples, durians and coconuts while the vegetables will be among others brinjals, chillies, long beans and cucumbers.
“If you want to go into Aeon or Jaya grocer, you will not see our brand yet, as we will be supplying our fruits and vegetables when we officially launch next month,” said Aiman.
Furthermore, he added initially they will sell their produce locally and once it has a strong footing in the market, they will consider exporting to Singapore.
Meanwhile, he explained that the company has invested “a substantial amount” of funds in agrofood related activities, including building the app, investing into joint ventures, mergers and acquisition, brand building and operations.
He said that the 10-month old company is still in its pre-revenue stage and reckoned that it will continue to invest into agrofood-centric activities within the first two years, with focus on building the right digital product.
Starting 2024, he added they expect for their initial investment to translate into revenue.
“We (have) to ensure that the pipeline of how we move ... is smooth so that we’re able to scale ... putting the building blocks together, building the digital assets,” he said, adding that it expects to generate revenue through a two-pronged approach, namely from traditional sales and transactions to through its digital platform.
Meanwhile, Aiman said that the company positions itself as a player that is involved throughout the value chain, namely upstream, midstream and downstream segments.