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Safaricom, NCBP in deal to boost farmers’ access to information

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Safaricom headquarters on Nairobi’s Waiyaki Way. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA

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Summary

  • The National Cereals and Produce Board has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Safaricom’s DigiFarm Kenya Limited to enable small-scale farmers access information through the telco’s platform.
  • NCPB will offer post-harvest management services through the DigiFarm platform to farmers connected to the app, enabling them to access the board’s services at prevailing rates.

The National Cereals and Produce Board has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Safaricom’s DigiFarm Kenya Limited to enable small-scale farmers access information through the telco’s platform.

NCPB will offer post-harvest management services through the DigiFarm platform to farmers connected to the app, enabling them to access the board’s services at prevailing rates.

“This MoU is aligned to the agriculture hub model that NCPB is required to establish under the reforms. The hub shall provide a one-stop shop for farmers to obtain farm inputs, farm machinery services and information on crop and animal husbandry,” said NCPB managing director Joseph Kimote.

DigiFarm is an integrated mobile platform developed by Safaricom that offers farmers a convenient one-stop access to quality farm inputs, loans, advisory services, market linkages, and crop insurance.

Mr Kimote said the partnership will support the small-scale farmers in improving crop productivity, leading to better incomes. This is in line with the country’s ‘Big Four’ agenda of achieving the goals of the Food and Nutrition security pillar.

“Through the Digifarm platform we want to empower smallholder farmers across the country by giving them direct access to low-cost quality seeds and fertiliser, credit providers, mechanisation services and bulk purchasers of their produce,” said Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom’s chief executive.

“Our partnership with NCPB will provide farmers with post-harvest management services as well as access to market which will enable them sell quality produce at competitive prices.”

The MoU defines the areas of cooperation in the provision of services including product aggregation and warehousing, quality management, inventory management and control, market facilitation, extension support and farm inputs distribution.

The Digifarm platform is aimed at making the smallholder farmer wealthier from their land, by addressing challenges that face growers. Since its launch DigiFarm has registered 1.3 million farmers on its platform who have benefitted from the services and products provided.