Safaricom’s DigiFarm partnered with the Kenya Livestock Producers Association to host an agribusiness trade fair and exhibition in Rachuonyo, Homabay County on Friday.
The event brought together various agri-business stakeholders in the region and gave an opportunity to farmers to showcase their products, learn various farming skills and interact with exhibitors from various agricultural organizations. Small scale farmers in the county also got an opportunity to register with DigiFarm and access information regarding best farming practices, access to affordable and quality input.
“Our purpose is to uplift small scale farmers from subsistence farming and enable them achieve full economic benefits, while making farming a profitable venture,” said Rita Okuthe, the chief enterprise officer, Safaricom.
DigiFarm is an integrated, free-to-use mobile platform offering smallholder farmers access to a suite of information and financial services including discounted products, customized information on farming best practices, and access to credit and other financial facilities.
The M-Agriculture product was launched in 2017 with Safaricom as the technology partner, iProcure to guarantee access to high quality inputs, FarmDrive to provide affordable credit and Arifu as a content partner through whom farmers have access to relevant information. So far, over 900,000 farmers have been registered.
The data on registered farmers has allowed the county and the national government source vital data for planning and resource allocation, besides enabling agricultural extension officers reach more farmers. Farmers are able to purchase farm inputs via M-Pesa or credit payable between thirty to ninety days.
To ensure that the service physically reaches farmers, 62 depots have been established in eleven counties which include Bomet, Nyandarua, Nandi, Meru, Makueni, Kirinyaga, Uasin Gishu, Laikipia and Kericho among others.