Malaysian mobile app developers win Apec Digital Prosperity Award

LANGKAWI, Dec 10 — It is a timely occasion for Malaysia as it prepares to host Apec 2020 when two local talented web and mobile app developers were crowned the winners of The 2019 Apec Digital Prosperity Award here today.

Faezrah Rizalman and Jeannette Goon have been named winners in recognition of Bayu Harvest, a mobile app and e-commerce platform designed to help women smallholder farmers move products into a high value supply chain.

Faezrah and Jeannette developed Bayu Harvest during The 2019 Apec App Challenge, a 24 hour competition hosted by Apec, the Chilean government, The Asia Foundation and Google in Viña del Mar, Chile held in May.

The challenge brought together nearly two dozen teams from across the Asia-Pacific region in a competition to create mobile and web apps which can help women entrepreneurs grow their business.

The award ceremony was officiated by Apec 2020 Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) chair, Hairil Yahri Yaacob, witnessed by Apec Chile 2019 SOM chair Mathias Francke at the SOM Dedicated Session on Post 2020 Vision, here today.

Also present was Apec Secretariat executive director Tan Sri Dr Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria.

When met by reporters after the ceremony, Faezrah who is from Sabah said the idea to develop Bayu Harvest came about when she was frequently asked by women farmers in the state on how to improve their income and livelihood.

“In Sabah, farmers usually sell their produce to the middlemen who would acquire the harvest in large quantity but at the lowest price. Farmers would usually agree to whatever price the middlemen offer.

“So Bayu Harvest was created to provide a platform so that the farmers can manage their produce as well as learn to be entrepreneurs such pricing for their crops and how to brand and market their products,” she said.

Goon who is an experienced digital entrepreneur from Kuala Lumpur said, when they had this opportunity to go for The 2019 Apec App Challenge they thought on some ideas on how could technology to help these women increase their income.

“Bayu Harvest is something we come out with after visiting Sabah several times and meeting different farmers to gauge their response on the application while we will provide training for them to use the application.

“Bayu Harvest is very light weight app so they don’t need the best internet connection, they don’t really need a lot memory space on their phones and it is something that is very usable for them. We started talking to restaurants and we are talking to others like manufacturing businesses on buying raw ingredients in Sabah to speak to us,” she said.

Goon said besides that they also going to conduct digital marketing to promote Bayu Harvest to the farmers.

“Our target to help as many farmers as we can and we are looking into how we can create the most impact for them in term of increasing their income and helping them improve their livelihood,” she said. — Bernama

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