Regi Wahyu is the founder of HARA – a data sharing platform for the food and agriculture sector. Human Asia spoke to Regi recently.
First of all, how did you get the idea to launch HARA?
Regi: Without data democratization, the food and agriculture sector in many developing nations is unable to achieve its full potential. Many smallholder farmers are still invisible to the connected world. As a result, smallholder farmers aren’t able to get access to financial institutions, loans, crop insurance or the best input products. In addition, there is no incentive to share data, and different silos of data sets were not linked together and are controlled by separate central institutions.
That is why the purpose of HARA is to create a prosperous data exchange economy that drives the use of informed data-driven decisions in society. We build our data exchange on blockchain technology due to its inherent nature of traceability and transparency, and cost-efficiency in disbursing incentives to our data providers.
What is the market size of blockchain in agriculture and what benefits will HARA bring to this industry?
Regi: HARA starts with the food and agriculture sector in order to address one of the world’s most fundamental problems: food security. According to Department of Economics and Social Affairs of the U.N., the current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.6 billion in 2050, and 11.2 billion in 2100. The majority of growth will occur in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Consequently, the global agriculture and food sector is changing rapidly because of the intensive increase of global food demand. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that food production will need to increase by 100% globally to ensure food security in 2050 and to meet 70% increase in caloric demand. There is a clear need for improvement in the sector’s technological, infrastructural, and institutional basis to ensure its sustainable development.
Currently, there are six ways of blockchain implementation in the food and agriculture sector: traceability, commodity management, marketplace, data sharing, access to capital and payments.
HARA is focusing on data sharing for the food and agriculture sector. HARA brings together data from multiple sources and facilitates data access for banks, insurance companies, retailers, agriculture input suppliers, NGO’s, and government agencies. One of the many benefits of having so many different types of data related to agriculture on a decentralized data exchange is that it enables improved access to funding for farmers, which in turn helps them to buy seed and other inputs to increase their production.
The purpose of HARA is to create a prosperous data exchange economy that drives the use of informed data-driven decisions in society. Data empowers billions and levels the playing field for everyone.
With a blockchain-based traceable and transparent data exchange, we do not have to lose any more valuable data and players of all sizes will have access to the data we generate collectively every day.
HARA ecosystem consists of four stakeholders: data providers (individual data contributors, like farmers or field agents, IoT and satellite) who are rewarded for data submission; data qualifiers who verify the data; data buyers (financial institutions, agriculture input companies); and value added services, which are companies and institutions that will buy and process raw data from HARA ecosystem and resubmit as ‘enriched data’ and are rewarded with HARA tokens.
The groups that we target include, but not limited to:
- Smallholder farmers: Improving operational efficiencies through access to supply-chain data, Increasing profit by improving access to current market information, Improved visibility to other agriculture stakeholders.
- Agriculture input suppliers: Market intelligence, inventory management.
- Financial institutions: Credit scoring and risk profiling, access to untapped segments.
- Government: Improving ability to anticipate and tackle agricultural-related problems, and boosting the economy in a sustainable manner.
Could you tell us more about how the token works in your economic model?
Regi: In the HARA ecosystem, there are four stakeholders to create a sustainable ecosystem, the four stakeholders consist of: data providers sharing their data in HARA; data buyer who need data for the decision-making process; data qualifier requesting data; and value-added services that convert data into referral and reporting information.
Every transaction on the exchange will be conducted through the HARA Token. HARA ecosystem retains a modest portion of each dataset transaction, with the remainder to be earned by data providers and data qualifiers, if applicable. HARA aims to target three growing industries, which are: agriculture and food sector, data commercial market, and digital advertising. Data collected in the HARA data exchange platform will be of great benefit in improving productivity and efficiencies as well as facilitating market expansion and fair playing field in these industries.
When is the HARA Crypto ICO launching and what makes it different from the others?
Regi: We launched to the public between January 21 and January 30, 2019 and will list our HARA token on the exchange a couple of weeks after.
What differentiates us from most ICOs:
– Our team comprise of professionals with entrepreneurial mindset, who believe in the mission of the company
– We have over 12,000 farmers on-board, with already paying customers – institutions who pay to access the data. For example, banks use HARA’s services for lead generation, monitoring, and support in repayment.
– We have successfully helped to disburse over a trillion rupiah in microfinance products with unprecedented repayment rates to previously unbankable farmers in 2018. HARA is also backed by strong management team and industry experts.
What are the steps for investing in HARA?
Regi: The HARA pre-sale and public sale are handled by two platforms, Liquid and Tokenomy. People who want to join the Token Sale can register, go through KYC, and buy the tokens. HARA Tokens will be distributed to their respective owners when HARA is listed for sale on an exchange. When a token is listed on an exchange, the token can be bought and sold on that exchange.This initial listing process might take a couple of weeks to complete after the ITS has ended.
Talk to us about your legal, compliance and security measures.
Regi: Blockchain technology allows transaction in the decentralized data-exchange platform on HARA. This ensure the fulfillment of data protection. In the very early stage, HARA platform is designed to meet the privacy rights and private data protection by complying on Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) in Singapore and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in Uni-Europe.
Furthermore, by end of 2018, the Indonesia Government (under the authority of BAPPEBTI) has just released cryptocurrency as subject to future trading which means they will be regarded as commodities.
Where do you see HARA in the next five years?
Regi: This year we took off like a rocket and shared our mission to empower millions of people through data all around the globe, building a great community of like-minded individuals on the way. Our pilot projects shaped up great and we are very excited about what their success indicates for the coming year. We plan to scale up our collaborations with financial institutions, expanding pilot projects area in Indonesia while also working on deployment expansion to targeted equatorial countries.
Regi, please tell us about yourself and describe the path to becoming where you are today.
Regi: I have a long history in agriculture. During my youth I had the opportunity to live together with the farmers in a small village in Java. I saw the challenges of farmers and the inequality they had to face every day. Why do the majority of farmers live below the poverty line, while we are dependent upon them for our food security?
Being digitally excluded makes it hard to be able to make the right decisions at the right time. Farmers are true entrepreneurs, but with information exclusion, they are not able to sustain and grow. Throughout my life, I have always had the ambition to make an impact for the bottom of the pyramid. By collecting online and offline data at the granular level, everybody in the ecosystem is able to make better decisions and improve their income and wellbeing.
Prior to HARA, I have a proven track record as a professional in the area of business development. I have successfully developed several start-ups, turned around “mature-declining” organization and manage growth strategies across the Asia Pacific region.
My working experience in Development Dimension International (DDI), General Electric (GE) Asia Pacific, and Dupont expanded my network by becoming a part of several high impact entrepreneurs, such as: Endeavor Network and Ashoka Fellows.
What struggles have you faced as an entrepreneur?
Regi: I have never seen what I’ve done as a struggle. I always feel grateful of anything I have gone through because it has encouraged me to be a better individual in order to bring a bigger impact for my company as well as society. I always believed that continuous challenges will add more value to my life.
Tell us something your company does better than others.
Regi: Our company’s strength is such that we keep growing as a team even in times of failure. When we fail to reach our target goals during one period, we keep learning from our mistakes and we keep taking risks. This helps us to think big, so that we can reach our objectives in more thoughtful ways.
What advice do you want to leave for budding entrepreneurs?
Regi: To never discount your capabilities. Never limit yourself only in the industry you are interested in. You also need to expand your core skills, which in my case is business development and sales. Let yourself be surrounded by people who have faith in your vision and project. Trust them to work on it, they will trust themselves eventually.
Parting words for entrepreneurs interested in going into the agtech industry?
Regi: Let’s collaborate ! Agriculture has complex challenges that require many players in the industry to engage with each other. Be open to exploring opportunities where you can collaborate. In HARA’s case, we are partnered with the top list of Indonesian banks to help us help farmers with financial inclusion, such as: BNI and BTPN-S.
You can visit HARA at : https://haratoken.io/
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