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From farm to table, thanks to the web

June 24, 2014

Producers will be able to provide Samoan restaurants and hotels with fresh and organic produce. A win-win for restaurateurs and producers through the development of a web application: m-Link. a project of the Samoan NGO WIBDI.

Founded in 1991, the NGO WIBDI (Women in Business Development Inc.) supports a network of 600 family organic farmers and is developing the project "farm to table" with the objective of providing hotels and restaurants in the country with 80% of their food needs through local production within 2-3 years. The project will create a lasting business relationship between individual producers and a growing market: tourism (tourism receipts representing nearly 20% of national GDP). The project idea is simple: every Monday, producers send a list of products available in the restaurant, they place orders late Tuesday afternoon. Producers who accept the order then deliver their products in the local WIBDI, who pays, the following Friday. The "m-Link" system, which is aimed at extension workers, producers and restaurateurs, is built to support this process.

"MLINK" system, is made up of three applications

WIBDI implemented, with the support of the Australian Government, a web application that is intended for extension: "mLINK Extension." This application provides extension on crops, pests and diseases, and organic certification.
CTA is supporting the development of two new web applications, "mLINK Producer" and "mLINK Kitchen."
"MLINK Producer" is designed to help producers in both the agricultural field (planting, harvesting, processing) and commercial (bookkeeping, budget, etc..). A support system (wiki) allows producers themselves to share information.
"MLINK Cuisine" offers restaurateurs a database of available products and prices each week, enabling them to order and offers nutritional information on products and recipes.

Sustainable and replicable project

In its pilot phase, the project involves 20 producers and 7 restaurants. But it is required to grow rapidly, with a real regional potential. It will be presented on the occasion of the UNSIDS conference in Samoa in September.