01 May 2020, 22:25

Farmers in a Pandemic

Came across this: Can Drupal Developers Come to the Aid of American Family Farmers?. The Drupal aspect might not be a necessary part of the equation, but it got me thinking.

It’s now possible to set up EBT payments so that you can pay for food online using SNAP (as part of a limited-states pilot program). However, because it’s a pretty involved process in the states where it’s available, it’s mostly just Amazon and Walmart that are offering it.

For a small farm to sell direct to consumers and accept EBT, they need a compatible POS system and USDA Food and Nutrition Service approval.

Then, if they want to also take online orders and accept EBT, they have to do major upgrades on their website (plus some more bureaucratic hoop-jumping).

Trying to locate the problem

  1. Do farmers want to sell online, direct to consumers, but need help with the technology?
  2. Would farmers like to accept EBT payments at their foodstands, but the technology and bureaucracy are difficult to navigate?
  3. Would farmers like to accept EBT as payment online? I’m not even sure how many grocery stores outside Amazon and Walmart are doing this yet. Is there demand for it?

Possible user stories

  • As a farmer, I accept EBT payments at my stand.
  • As a farmer, I can sell my food online.
  • As a farmer, I accept EBT payments at my online store.

I’m gonna try to hold off on proposing solutions and instead talk to some folks in order to make sure this is a real problem and if it is, better understand it.