Farmers experience ‘a whole new world’ with the help of a Disney-inspired startup company
IN THE DISNEY FILM ALADDIN, the kingdom of Agrabah has a marketplace that sells an assortment of goods and trinkets that cater to everyone’s needs, whether it’s fresh fruits and vegetables, or a little bit of magic to spice things up. Joselito “Jun” Ocol, the CEO and co-founder of an agritech startup company in the Philippines, has a goal of bringing the concept of accessibility and availability from the fictional market into reality to benefit Filipinos, especially the farmers.
Named after the kingdom where Aladdin flies around in his magic carpet, Agrabah is a tech startup company that serves as an online platform where farmers and consumers can find each other and make transactions at a fair price.
“We’re empowering Filipino farmers to steadily earn a fair profit through our online platforms that connects them to
institutional consumers and partners,” Ocol said.
Agrabah acts as a mediator by sourcing orders from big companies then reaching out and employing farming communities who could meet the request for fresh products.
Ocol and his wife, Josephine Gumino, started by bridging fishing communities with institutional consumers, then later added crop farmers to their list.
WHARF, MARKETPLACE, AND FAIR Ocol said that there are three different platforms that Agrabah offers where farmers can gain a fair profit as well as direct access to the market: the wharf, marketplace, and fair.
First is the “Wharf” which is a business to business (B2B) model that connects farmers to institutional consumers by providing the former with an order before they even start planting.
“The good thing about the Wharf is that we can assure the farmers that we can buy everything that they will be planting,” Ocol said.
In the meantime, Agrabah is developing “Marketplace,” a business to consumer (B2C) model
(Above) Cottonii seaweed being dried under the sun. (Right) Josephine Gumino and Joselito Ocol pose with a resident (center) from the Caramoan island. (Opposite page) A boat of freshly harvested cottonii.