KENYA – Kenyan startup and mobile-driven platform for sourcing fresh agric produce is set to showcase its solutions at the Expo 2020 Dubai, run by organizers of World Expo, an event that introduces the world to innovations including agricultural exhibitions.
Selina Wamucii, a GLOBALG.A.P. certified farm sources smallholder fresh produce such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices in the long run improving the agricultural supply chain and boosting income.
The firm works with smallholder farmers by providing a ready market for their fresh produce which would rather end up in in waste due to lack of technological and storage know-how.
FAO reported that while about one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes gets lost or wasted, consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year.
Wamucii came up to tackle inefficiencies in the supply chain occurring at post-harvest, processing levels, even at retail and consumer levels.
“Both Gaita (co-founder) and I saw the challenges faced by our parents so we studied to become engineers and decided to use our knowledge to help farmers.
By enabling users to buy seedlings and better equipment, our platform is helping farmers to become self-sufficient,” said John Oroko, co-founder.
“Some of our mango farmers have increased their incomes by 60 per cent, allowing them to pay for medical bills and their children’s school fees.
We also see smallholders investing their money back into the farm to increase yields.”
Through its mobile technology, the startup aims to empower farmers by enabling buyers and exporters to source fresh produce directly from smallholder farmers.
It not only shortens the agricultural supply chain but also passes efficiency savings on to both smallholder farmers and buyers while striving to meet demand by both the local and international market.
Through agents, the firm collects harvest from registered farmers when demand from large-scale exporters arises, and in the meantime train and monitor the farmers.
The firm has also received a grant from the Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai’s innovation and partnership programme which it said would be used to develop its mobile platform and acquire best practice and organic certifications vital in opening up new markets and for better prices.
Expo Live was launched in January 2017 and offers creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives or helps preserve the planet.
This is the second startup to receive Expo Live grant, after Eco Fuels Kenya, a start-up that is using oil from the nuts of croton trees to produce energy.