The IsDB is set to officially launch a B2B e-commerce platform for agricultural produce in Yemen in 16 months with the possibility to expand it to other member countries in the future, a spokesperson from the multilateral development bank told ISFI.
The e-commerce platform is currently being developed in conjunction with the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen and is the result of a tripartite agreement signed with the Yemeni government earlier in January this year.
“The platform will cater for B2B where farmers, suppliers and cooperative associations can market and sell their wholesale products to other businesses abroad,” the spokesperson detailed.
The main agricultural products expected to be traded on the platform are coffee and honey, which Yemen has a long tradition of trading. As a result of the ongoing Yemeni civil war, which began in 2014, the products have experienced a significant drop in sales leading to a reluctance to farm coffee and honey among Yemeni farmers, the spokesperson shared.
The IsDB and the Saudi Program’s Economic Empowerment Program will finance B2B linkages between value chain players in the targeted sectors via the platform. As the execution agency, Small and Micro Enterprise Promotion Service, a subsidiary of the Yemeni non-profit organization Social Fund for Development, will contribute to the development of the platform.
The IsDB anticipates that a platform developer will be acquired from its network in dealing with MSMEs.
The ownership of the platform will be transferred to an active player in the market at the end of the project. The project will also support the appointed key player to establish a unit to manage the platform, the IsDB spokesperson added.
The establishment of the platform aspires to systematically and sustainably solve the challenge of access to markets for the trading products.
The objective of the establishment of the platform is to engage a competent authority to guarantee the quality of products and their compliance with international standards to restore confidence in Yemeni products abroad.
Moreover, the platform will provide information on the targeted sectors and encourage mobile banking and e-money transactions.
The project, while still in its pilot phase, will focus on Yemen with wholesalers being the main users. However, the IsDB is open to the broader application of the platform.
“Upon successful implementation of the project and adoption of the platform, the IsDB and its partners might consider extending the platform services to other relevant IsDB member countries,” the IsDB spokesperson shared.
The project is part of the IsDB’s economic empowerment approach value proposition, which aims to develop ecosystems conducive to local markets, allowing stakeholders to benefit from equitable and complementary partnerships.