Agri-OLX platform point Kenyan farmers to a broader market

OLX, an online selling platform has created an agricultural segment, offering internet savvy farmers a dedicated site to sell their produce. This is good news especially to small holder farmers who are cut from market by high transportation costs and poor infrastructure, hence incurring huge post harvest loses.
Lack of market also exposes them to exploitative middlemen who buy their produce at throw away prices. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), at least 40 percent of agricultural produce go to waste annually in Sub-Sahara Africa due to lack market problems.
A farmer intending to use the OLX platform will have to create an account on www.olx.co.ke or download the OLX app on phone, fill in contacts including the user name, email address, password and phone number. Once registration is approved, the farmer can then log in using his user name and password, give a brief description of the product- , quantity, location and price before uploading the photo. The produce on the site can be viewed by interested buyers anywhere in the country who contact the farmer.
After a sales agreement between the two, a farmer can now send the sold produce to the buyer via G4S express logistics at slashed price, thanks to signed partnership between OLX and G4S early this year.
OLX country manager Peter Ndiang’ui explained that the growing interest in farm products was behind the new category which follows others in clothing, electronics and vehicles categories.
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He expressed confidence that the platform will increase efficiency and unlock markets for farmers in the country, hence catalyzing activities in the sector that contributes up to 24 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. ‘’The product is counting on the gains made in the communication sector to deliver market information to rural farmers responsible for 70 percent of the country’s food production, improving peoples’ lives,’’ said Ndiang’ui
The country mobile internet penetration in rural Kenya has tremendously improved for the past two year, thanks to the saturation of affordable smart phones in the market.
The platform also offers buyers more variety and better quality of produce as multiple farmers compete to offer the same products. The platform which is already live in Nairobi is expected expand to other parts of the country soon.