Websites to sell agri products
'Sadai' of Tk 2m newly being created for Tk 25m
Ahead of launching these online platforms (website and apps) created at the cost of Tk 2 million, the same types of platforms are being created at the cost of Tk 25 million.
The agricultural marketing department has created a website named 'Sadai' to sell farmers' produce.
They have created two separate apps for farmers and consumers and these apps are scheduled to be inaugurated this month.
However, ahead of launching these online platforms (website and app) created at the cost of Tk 2 million, the same types of platforms are being created at the cost of Tk 25 million.
In the development project proposal (DPP), it was said the 'Sadai' platform has to be further developed and made more effective.
The people concerned said doing anything out of DPP is a violation of the rules.
Meanwhile, an allegation of irregularities in the tender has been raised for creating a new website.
The agricultural ministry sources said a project titled 'online-based agricultural marketing system development programmes' was launched in June 2020 and ended in June 2023.
Under this project, the website 'sadai' and two apps have been created and the agricultural department has received it.
Sources said in the DPP, it was said the 'sadai' platform and apps have to be developed and made effective to ensure benefits for farmers and consumers. A total of Tk 25 million was allocated for this purpose. Instead of doing that, new websites and apps are being created.
Preferring not to be named, an official said 'payment gateway' for the farmers and the consumers have been created in the app 'Sadai'. The list of entrepreneurs and farmers have been created. Such a list of entrepreneurs and farmers of 35 districts was created. Simultaneously, farmers of 25 districts were trained up.
After making so many arrangements, the creation of another platform will result in wastage of public money, the official added.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, agricultural marketing department director general Md Masud Karim said the previous platform is weak as it was created at low cost.
The new platform will be created in such a way so that 60 million consumers can be provided with service and that is why additional money is being spent, he said.
Masud Karim also said as all works of the agriculture ministry are being done in a smart system, the name of 'Sadai' has been changed to 'Smart agriculture bazar'. All information about 'Sadai' will be included in the new platform.
Meanwhile, a company, 'Mysoft Heaven Limited', has been selected through the tender to create the new app and website.
OrangeBD and Symac Limited, who were in the short list, have submitted a written complaint to the director general of agricultural marketing department.
They alleged after floating the tender, conditions have been added to provide work to a specific company.
Speaking to Prothom Alo about the matter, Md Masud Karim said the company has been given the work considering the capacity.
In accordance with all rules, a committee concerned selected the company through the tender process to create the new platform.
About the allegation of breaching DPP, Masud Karim said the decision to create a new platform has been taken after reviewing the legal aspects.
*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print and online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam