Over 600 Sunflower farmers in Makueni County are set to benefit from a partnership between Safaricom’s DigiFarm product, Bidco Africa and the Makueni County Government.
The 640 Sunflower farmers are the first beneficiaries of an end to end buyer driven model and will see Bidco Africa provide a ready market for their produce which is used as raw materials in the processing of edible oils.
“We are glad that we are able to help farmers actualise their dreams through DigiFarm by providing an end to end process that will ensure that farming becomes a profitable venture that will eventually uplift their living standards. We hope to continue to engage more farmers with different crops so that we can help them reap maximum benefits” Said Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Officer, Safaricom.
Makueni is the first County to pilot the end to end value chain from registration of farmers to accessing a ready market. DigiFarm provided technical support through quality fertiliser, seeds and access to credit and insurance to help increase productivity.
“Our aim is to ensure that all DigiFarm services are available throughout the county and we are also doing the same in other counties so that farmers can get access to information, credit facilities, farm inputs and any other necessary tools they may need to help them earn money from their produce” Said Ms. Okuthe.
Makueni Governor, Prof Kivutha Kibwana on his part said that the uptake of DigiFarm is a welcome relief for farmers as it will provide them with guaranteed market for their produce and in the process eliminating the perennial problem of brokers exploiting farmers. “It is our hope that the partnership we have signed today will go a long way in motivating the small-scale farmers become more self-reliant,” he said.
So far, Makueni County has 34 DigiFarm depots where farmers can get inputs such as quality seeds and fertilisers. The county also has the highest number of registered farmers on the platform with over 217,000 out of the close to 1 Million farmers registered countrywide.