For us as a delegate, focus group is a very beneficial session as we are able to decide on our preferred topic, and discuss it with experts from all around the world. As Little Marios is introducing urban mushroom farming, I have selected this topic for me to gain more knowledge on agriculture and how agriculture related social business are being operated in other regions.
The World Café started off with the introduction of Grameen Krishi Foundation, a not for profit company that undertakes a wide range of agricultural activities aimed at alleviating poverty amongst poor and marginal farmers and attaining self sufficiency in food production as well as enhancing effective utilization of agricultural resources.
The Krishi Foundation empower low income farmers by lending and accepting repayments in cash as well as in agricultural input and produce. Up until now, there are in total 20-25 types of crops available in Bangladesh, and what make it unique is they are available throughout the whole year.
We discussed a lot of topics, but there is one which I am really keen in, which is how to realize partnership between large companies and agriculture related social businesses. The first point that really attracted my attentions is the lack of understanding, and trust between these two parties. When we are working on agriculture, the product cycle is straight-forward, and very dependent in supply and demand value chain. Therefore, for small social business, we will have to ensure our production is in a very steady manner and reliable at the same time.
Besides, if the partnership is profit driven, we will have to put attention and look into the product, whether or not it will be acceptable by the target market of your partner. This session really provided us with the platform to appreciate efforts by social business around the world, and also got us important connections where we can have a lot of takeaways by consulting them.
This marks the end of first day of GSBS 2014, and Khim and I loved it!
Personally, I have a theme for this summit, Action, Friendship, and Global Social Business Summit. Looking back at GSBS 2013, there are so many initiatives created as an outcome of the summit, and after one year their growth is simply amazing. For us, Little Marios, what we gain here will definitely be converted into action to drive further growth of our progress in Malaysia.