KENYA – The National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) has signed an MoU with Safaricom’s DigiFarm Kenya to facilitate small-scale farmers in Kenya access post-harvest management services through the digital platform.
NCPB shall offer post-harvest management services to farmers present on the platform, while DigiFarm will connect NCPB to small-scale farmers, who will, in turn, access NCPB services at prevailing rates
“This MoU is aligned to the agriculture hub model that NCPB is required to establish under the Reforms.
“The hub shall provide a one-stop shop for farmers to obtain farm inputs, farm machinery services, information on crop and animal husbandry and quality management services among other services,” Managing Director of NCPB, Mr J. Kimote said.
He added that the partnership will support the small-scale farmer in improving crop productivity, leading to better incomes as well as support the country in achieving the goals of the Food and Nutrition Security Pillar of the Big Four Agenda.
The MoU defines the areas of cooperation in the provision of services including product aggregation and warehousing, quality management, inventory management and control, market facilitation, extension support and farm inputs distribution.
“Through the Digifarm platform we want to empower smallholder farmers across the country by giving them direct access to low-cost quality seeds and fertiliser, credit providers, mechanisation services and bulk purchasers of their produce.
“Our partnership with NCPB will provide farmers with post-harvest management services as well as access to market which will enable them sell quality produce at competitive prices,” said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
DigiFarm is an integrated mobile platform developed by Safaricom that offers farmers a convenient one-stop access to quality farm inputs, input loans, advisory services, market linkages, and crop insurance.
Its vision is to make the smallholder farmer wealthier from their land, by addressing the above issues.
Since its launch DigiFarm has registered 1.3 million farmers on its platform who have benefitted from the services and products provided.
WFP improves mobile app that links Zambian smallholder farmers to markets
Meanwhile in Zambia, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution from China through a South-South and Triangular cooperation COVID-19 opportunity fund, to enhance the user experience of the Virtual Farmers Market mobile-based e-commerce application, known locally as Maano.
The app, which virtually links farmers to buyers when downloaded to a mobile device, will be enhanced to provide smallholder farmers with vital agriculture support and rural e-commerce services, such as commodity transportation, insurance and market information.
“We look forward to working with China through this South-South cooperation and learning from their experience in building digital platforms to modernize agriculture.
“Digital agricultural technologies like Maano are crucial to reducing losses associated with inefficient market systems, resulting in improved incomes for smallholder farmers,” said Jayoung Lee, WFP Deputy Country Director.
South-South cooperation refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries in the Global South.
It is a tool used by the states, international organizations, academics, civil society and the private sector to collaborate and share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives in specific areas such as agricultural development, human rights, urbanization, health, climate change etc.
The contribution comes at a critical time when digital solutions offer a safe and sustainable way for smallholder farmers to continue accessing markets during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The enhanced app will allow farmers to sell their crops and access market information and services from the safety of their homes.
In Zambia, WFP is working with the Government to help over 100,000 farmers tap into larger and more diverse markets, ensuring local produce reaches consumers and promoting access to nutritious food in a sustainable manner.
By the end of 2021, WFP aims to onboard around 5,000 farmers to the Virtual Farmers Market mobile-based e-commerce.