Bidco Africa and Safaricom form partnership to boost edible oil production

KENYA – Consumer goods manufacturer, Bidco Africa and Kenyan communications company Safaricom have formed a partnership that aims to boost oil crop farming and reduce reliance on imports of the commodity.

According to Business Daily, the two will work together with Migori County to promote sunflower and soyabeans farming in the region.

Safaricom will support the initiative through its integrated mobile platform, DigiFarm by providing technical support including quality fertiliser, seeds and other farming inputs to increase productivity.

Bidco on the other hand will provide a ready market for the produce, used as raw materials in the processing of edible oils.

Speaking during the launch of the programme, Elizabeth Mudogo, an officer from Safaricom’s M-agriculture department noted that smallholder farmers would be issued with key inputs which will be repaid through deduction from their payments on successful harvests.

“What we are doing as Digi-farm is to provide service to simple smallholder farmer. We are interested in ensuring the farmer is able to make money from farming,” said Ms Mudogo.

“Migori is one of the pilot counties and we are targeting to help soya beans and sunflower farmers.

We provide an end-to end-service delivery to the farmers.”

The telco offers farmers access to information and financial services including discounted products, customised information on farming best practices, and access to credit and other financial facilities.

It also links farmers with agro suppliers and government services and by May this year, it issued 7,000 loans to farmers since its inception in October 2017.

It has since been launched in Makueni and Uasin Gishu counties with depots where farmers can access quality and discounted farm inputs.

In the wake of trade tariffs between Tanzania and Kenya, Business Daily reported that Bidco had been questioned by Tanzanian authorities on the proportion of imported soya, palm oil and sunflower in its export products.

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