TECHTALK

How agriculture firms can benefit from technology

Through these platforms, farmers can increase their demand and bring in new customers

In Summary
  • Taimba, a mobile-based cashless business-to-business platform, connects farmers to retailers.
  • They organize the farmers into farm groups also known as Co-ops and support them to improve productivity.
Paw paw plants at Simon Nyaga farm in Runyenjes, Embu on Wednesday.
IRRIGATION: Paw paw plants at Simon Nyaga farm in Runyenjes, Embu on Wednesday.
Image: BENJAMIN NYAGAH

With the advancement of technology growing in each sector in the country , the agriculture sector cannot be left behind thus tech start-ups have decided to tap into this. They are offering farmers a way into technology by providing them a platform to sell their produce.

Taimba, a mobile-based cashless business-to-business platform, connects farmers to retailers. They have been working with farmers from rural settlements to ensure that they access consistency in market, fair prices by shortening the agriculture supply chain.

They organize the farmers into farm groups also known as Co-ops and support them to improve productivity. It offers 20 to 30 per cent higher prices as compared to brokers, helping them generate better return on investment along with direct linkage to urban markets.

It offers retailers the convenience of doorstep delivery of the produce by saving them three to four hours of sourcing time and Sh200 to Sh300 on logistics. They are also assured of supply of high quality farm fresh produce at lower than market rates.

It has also rolled out a microloan facility for its retail customers to help them expand their businesses and overcome liquidity challenges.

Twiga foods is another startup that can effectively track food and produce from processing to distribution. It uses technology to build supply chains in food and retail distribution on the continent, starting with Kenya.

It serves about 33, 000 vendors with orders per week and operates in seven counties, which are Uasin Gishu, Machakos, Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Nakuru and Kiambu.

Apollo agriculture is another startup that offers mobile-based products for farmers that includes working capital, data analysis for higher crop yields and options to purchase key inputs and equipment.

It helps to solve the problem farmers have of lack of access to the tech and resources to achieve better results on their plots.

It has engineered its own app, platform and outreach program to connect with Kenyan farmers. It uses the Mpesa mobile money, machine learning and satellite data to guide the credit and products it offers them.

As a TechCrunch startup battlefield Africa 2018 finalist, it serves over 40, 000 farmers and it generates revenues on the sale of farm products and earning margins on financing.

A forestry platform, Komaza has partnered with smallholder farmers in Kenya to plant trees for sale. It contracts rural small-scale farmers to grow fast maturing and drought resistant trees to meet the surging demand of wood in Kenya while reducing pressure on existing forests.

Through these platforms, it will increase their demand and bring in new customers as well as new investors. This will also increase their income enabling them to expand to other regions and have quality products in the market.