More than 10,000 farmers are using online advertising site OLX to sell their produce and livestock nearly three months after the firm introduced the agricultural section.
OLX, which is popular for connecting buyers and sellers in the clothing, electronics and vehicles categories, is increasingly opening up to farmers seeking to sell livestock, especially chicken and cattle, and fresh produce.
The shift from traditional marketing methods has also been linked to bargain hunters seeking to bypass middlemen and buy straight from the source.
“The growth was unprecedented. The manner in which farmers and their customers have embraced the use of the forum surpassed our projections,” said OLX Kenya country manager Peter Ndiang’ui.
He added that the increase in demand for fruits, vegetables and livestock transacted on the site had lifted the volume of products traded.
Traditionally, farmers and buyers have relied on brokers to bring them together for a fee. The shift to online is expected to see farmers earn substantially more given that they also save on transport costs.
Official data show that earnings in the agro-based sector trail other industries despite agriculture accounting for 30 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
Agro-based workers earned Sh13,205 monthly on average compared to bankers’ Sh84,364.