To go digital or not,is no longer a debate in kenya.
The era of digitalization famously known as the fourth industrial revolution has now seen farmers move from the market to the online space to at least earn a living,with Online classifieds company, OLX being the latest culprit to target farmers across the region with the launch of their SMS service.
How it Happens
Farmers who do not own smart phones will now be able access the platform by use of code *887# on their phones. Farmers can sell potatoes on OLX by dialling *887# and selecting region from which their potatoes come from.
A notification is then sent to OLX, who in turn contact and link the farmer to potential buyers. Currently, the targeted regions are Nyandarua and Nakuru counties.
According OLX country manager Peter Ndiang’ui t,Over 9000 potato farmers are already using this service.
“Potatoes form the bulk of food consumed in most urban areas. Our venture in potato farming is aimed at adding value to farmers by eliminating middle men who have fragmented the supply demand chain. Most of these farmers do not own smart phones. It is for this reason we have introduced the SMS service to target potato farmers who do not own smart phones but want to use our platform. . We will soon be expanding to other regions.” he noted
Ndiang’ui said that the long value chain does not give value to potato farmers who have to sell their potatoes mostly through middlemen who dictate potato prices.
By trading directly on OLX, farmers will have a direct link to their buyers thus increasing their profits.
Currently Potato farming generates KES 25 billion at farm gate prices yet farmers profit margins are still negligible.
OLX is helping farmers deliver potatoes end to end directly from the farm to customers and retailers in markets, restaurants and potato chips companies.
In three weeks, OLX will assist farmers get fertilisers, agrochemical and seeds delivered to their doorstep at a subsidized rate.