News and knowhow for farmers

New app to help farmers sell their produce directly to consumers

app isaac kyalo
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Farmers can now sell their produce directly to consumers without involving third parties following the launch of a new app by an information technology student at the Technical University of Mombasa.

The app, soko moja is available on Google Playstore and be downloaded into smart phones. In this, farmers can then create an account and log in then post their products online including the prices of the items and their contact numbers.

“This app will help farmers improve on prices for their produce by selling their produce directly to customers,” said Isaac Kyalo, the inventor of the app.

“With the app, farmers will have a wide variety of customers to sell their products to hence spurring competition and enable them produce quality produce,”

A number of studies have reported positive benefits from ICT interventions. In northern Ghana for instance, farmers were provided with market information services, and prices received for their maize and groundnut crops increased by 10 per cent and seven per cent, respectively according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics in 2017.

The same journal revealed that access to ICT information also helped Ethiopian farmers avoid price expectation errors and hence helped them efficiently allocate their crop production decisions. In another study, farmers in Uganda obtained 15 per cent higher farm gate prices when they took advantage of crop-price information provided online.

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The inventor of soko moja app, Isaac Kyalo. Photo/courtesy. 

In 2017, Kenyan farmers lost 1.9m tonnes of food as they struggled to find markets according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

Of the total food wasted, maize, Kenya’s staple food was the most affected with the country losing Sh29.6bn worth of the crop yet it imported another bunch worth Sh42bn.

Green bananas were the second most affected crop as farmers lost Sh24bn worth of the produce.

Other produce that went to waste due to poor storage and handling, transport, and fungi attack, according to data contained in the 2018 Economic Survey released in April, includes Irish potatoes (Sh19.7bn), milk (Sh12.4bn), beans (Sh11.5bn), ripe yellow bananas (Sh5.6bn), sweet potatoes (Sh3.5bn), tomatoes (Sh2.4bn), pineapples (Sh2.4bn), sorghum (Sh1.9bn), and millet (Sh1.6bn).

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