Countries like Holland, New Zealand, and Israel are doing incredibly well when it comes to agriculture. I believe that the key to their success is an initiative by their governments to support farmers across those countries. What’s more, you will realize that some of the best farming equipment comes from these countries as well.
Kenya on the other hand, we have the land and above all, we have committed farmers willing to go above all adversities to sustain our country through food production and agribusiness.
Over the years, farmers have been complaining of lack of initiative from the government in supporting what was ones the backbone of this country.
Lack of support and indulgence from the government has made farming a stale venture for most small-scale farmers in the country.
How Digifarm will help farmers
On the bright side though, farmers from the Rift Valley are optimistic following Safaricom’s intervention.
While speaking in the rift region, Victor Ngumo of Safaricom said, “there is an urgent need for us to commercialize farming in Kenya, and we want to do this by helping smallholder farmers to transition into agribusiness.
In addition to farming inputs, this depot will give farmers access to agronomists who will advise them on issues such as soil productivity and quality of seeds to help them improve their yields.
Upon realization that Kenyan farmers face several challenges like lack of finances as most financial institutions are not likely to give them loans, lack of quality inputs not to mention lack of markets for their produce.
Safaricom opened a Digifarm depot in Burnt Forest town, Uasin Gishu county that is aimed at helping farmers across the region.
The depot is meant to encourage small-scale farmers to start engaging in agribusiness by enabling them access quality inputs and sustainable markets. It has been opened in partnership with agricultural supply chain experts iProcure. Farmers will be able to purchase the inputs via Mpesa or get credit payable within 30-90 days.
What’s more, the depot will also act as a source of data for the county government, which will be able to use this information for planning and resource allocation as well as enabling agricultural extension officers to reach more farmers.
Digifarm is an integrated mobile platform that offers farmers convenient, one-stop access to a variety of services including discounted inputs and advice on input use, financing, and information on crops and animals.
The platform also improves collection of agricultural data by registering farmers and allowing them to key in information such as the size of their farms and nature of farming activities.
The platform is recording significant success since it has managed to register close to 700,000 farmers across the region so far. It has also issued loans to more than 7000 farmers as credits to purchase inputs.