Farmers make higher sales through WhatsApp

Kenyan farmers with smart-phones can reach out to buyers of their produce by engaging buyers on customised social media groups.

Two Indian organic farmers, who have led by example, are enjoying a sure and constant market for their short season products after creating a WhatsApp group that has grown its membership to 80 since August 2015.

Santhosh Kittur and Abhijit Kamath from Kadabi and Murgod villages respectively report better sales, which they attribute to 'Chemical-free produce' WhatsApp group.

The platform is helping them share photos of their produce with their clients, who see see and make orders.

Kittur, who holds a diploma in electronics has been farming for six years, met Kamatha and they agreed to work together on the group although each of them has separate farm.

Kamath has been cultivating a variety of crops on his 12-acre farm for 14 years.

Each of them has grown different veggies including ridge gourd, bitter gourd, cucumber, cluster beans cabbage, tomatoes, capsicum onions , garlic and green chilies on two acres.

The remaining acreage have non-seasonal crops like bananas. They keep rotating the vegetables to ensure constant produce for the market.

They sell their produce on Thursday and Sunday of every week.

If a customers make orders, they provide home delivery services.

“First preference is given to the members of the group. The system has worked well for us even financially,” Kittur told local newspaper, Deccan Herald.

“I feel proud and satisfied that we have an opportunity to provide people with fresh and safe produce,” Kamath said.

Interested farmers can also visit the farm to see the source of the produce.

The group name, Chemical-free produce, is helping to increase sales as more people shrink away from products grown with the help of agrochemicals.

The two have been recognised by the University of Agricultural Science, Dharwad, which honoured with the 'Outstanding Young Farmer award'.

Facebook and Twitter are other avenues open for exploitation with the ongoing increase in Internet access.

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