Agro portal growing with B2B

AgroConnect.com aims to aggregate the global Crop Life Sciences market and eliminate market inefficiencesby tapping the potential of Internet-based technologies.

AgroConnect.com aims to aggregate the global Crop Life Sciences market and eliminate market inefficiences by tapping the potential of Internet-based technologies.
by Ariel Tam

SINGAPORE, 13 July 2000 - AgroConnect.com Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Life Sciences company Zagro Asia Limited, today unveiled AgroConnect.com, the first B2B Global AgroExchangePlus portal which offers an end-to-end online e-commerce platform for Crop Life Sciences (Agro) products, services and ideas.

Wholly developed and managed by AgroConnect.com Pte Ltd, AgroConnect.com serves as an e-highway where AgroPeople e-commute to exchange Agro products, intermediates, excess stocks, technology and to manage business referral and career services, registrations and ideas (via online forum).

The AgroPeople community includes agro-manufacturers, distributors, dealers, traders, scientists, agro-journalists, research organizations, registration and regulatory bodies.

"AgroConnect.com aims to capitalize on the existing inefficiencies in the procurement, pricing and distribution of products, services and ideas in the global Crop Life Sciences market," said Poh Beng Swee, chairman and CEO of Zagro Asia and Founder of AgroConnect.com.

Poh added that diverse cultures, climate, licensing requirements, rural practices and crops have resulted in significant price differentiation across the marketplace, and AgroConnect.com hopes to make use of the Internet as a platform to address these market inadequacies.

"To the best of our knowledge, AgroConnect.com is the first of its kind in the world. There is no known comparable exchange system that offers the same or similar products as AgroConnect.com on a global or regional level," said Poh. "We will seek strategic global partners and alliances to quickly set up and expand the global reach of AgroConnect.com."

There are also plans to develop localised trades by establishing AgroExchangePlus offices in markets such as China, India, Europe, Australia, North America and South America.

"We aim to maximize the power of the Net by replacing human intervention with business and trade logic software and Web enhancements such as WAP and SMS," said George Julien Rajesh, co-founder of AgroConnect.Com. "In time to come, we want to empower AgroConnect.com with more value-added services and features that will retain and continually engage its customer base and improve exchange efficiency."

Currently, AgroConnect.com has "a few hundred" registered users, including multinationals from America and Europe, and Poh hopes that this figure will increase to a thousand by the end of the year.

The Group is optimistic that the Life Sciences business will pick up in 2000. Today, Asia is home to more than two-thirds of the world's population and thus has the high potential to increase food consumption.

The Group will continue to explore registrations and introduce new products to satisfy fast-changing market demands which include the recent industry move to replace antibiotics with more organic-based substances.

Technology Platform
The AgroExchangePlus engine is written in Java Beans whilst its dynamic content are served by Java Server Pages (JSP).

Running on an application server on the Sun Solaris platform, AgroConnect.com's proprietary application software is scalable and can be ported to run on various platforms.

Built on Oracle's database engine, the software allows AgroConnect.com to enhance, modify and include future dynamic content changes to meet market demands.

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