More than 150,000 farmers in Makueni County will now access information on the best farming practice, discounted farm inputs and credit services through Safaricom’s DigiFarm, an agribusiness service tailored for small-holder farmers.
The programme has so far registered 120,000 farmers who have been trained on DigiFarm and can now access the service.
To bring the services of quality input closer to the Makueni farmer, DigiFarm will open three depots in Wote, Kalawani and Mbumbuni where farmers will access quality, discounted inputs. Makueni farmers will especially benefit from the all-round availability of inputs at the depots, especially during peak season, and access to advisory and technical information from experts stationed at each of the depots.
“We welcome digital farming in Makueni courtesy of a partnership with Safaricom. We are glad that our farmers will now benefit from direct access to information on best farming practices, discounted inputs and credit services through their phones,” said Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Makueni County governor.
The farmers have been educated on DigiFarm, an achievement, credits to the county’s on-going efforts of improving the livelihood of farmers.
“There is a lot of work that has been going on (in Makueni) in terms of increasing productivity of the farms so it is our hope that we can replicate this in other counties. This platform is there to ensure that farmers get the best prices and have all the information they require,” said Safaricom Director of Strategy and Innovation, Joe Ogutu.
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Farmer support through digital platforms will enable the production of quality products as well as direct farmers to ready markets, cutting off middlemen and brokers.
“As a farmer wants to have information on the type of agriculture they want to embark on, the farmer is helped to learn through this simple phone just as we do with M-Pesa. They can get extension services through this new way of doing agriculture,” said Kibwana.
Launched in October 2017, Digifarm now serves more than 700,000 farmers and has opened 18 depots across the country.