Safaricom Ventures into Agribusiness

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Safaricom has ventured into agriculture by developing programmes aimed at facilitating delivery of solutions to farmers countrywide, Business Daily Africa has reported.

The telco giant’s services were initially limited to voice calling, text messaging, internet provision, mobile banking, money transfer, among others.

“What initially started as a humble social innovation plan to solve farmers’ problems has developed into a fully-fledged department in the organisation,” Safaricom’s head of M-Agri Business, Fredrick Kiio, said recently. “We are already offering two products; Digifarm and Digifarm for Enterprise.”

He added that the first product targets smallholder farmers while the second one is tailored for saccos and cooperatives that buy produce.

Mr Kiio said the Digifarm for Enterprise ensures that when a farmer takes milk to a collection centre, for instance, the facility has a bluetooth-enabled weighing scale. The system then takes details of the milk and corresponds it with the farmer, since through the programme, Safaricom already has the farmers’ registration and identification details.

“At the end of the day, the farmer gets an SMS notification of how much he has delivered. This gives one an idea of what to expect, while the collection centre also easily keeps tabs of what it has received,” Mr Kiio said.

The system effectively eliminates manual record-keeping by farmers and the organisations.

From an enterprise point of view, it ensures that a processing manager sees how much is collected and from which farmer.

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