The key to the company’s success is the use of technology to streamline the production chain. Ms. Abbas explains, “M-Farm has a contract with a local exporter, who buys the produce directly from the farmers” using their mobile devices. This gives farmers access to a reliable and guaranteed market that enjoys stable year-round prices while eliminating middlemen and lowering transaction costs.
According to Ms. Abbas, this system sets M-Farm apart from other organizations. Nevertheless, gaining the trust of the farmers was a difficult process. Many farmers were jaded by initiatives that had left them out to dry when they ran out of funds. “There’s an existing body [of projects] supporting the farmers today, and the next day they are no longer there. This makes farmers skeptical and lose trust” in projects similar to M-Farm.” So, the founders’ strategy is to “spend a lot of time and resources to make the farmers understand we are different.”
Kenya Launches Africa’s First National Open Data Initiative http://smf.is/1uroc5