Safaricom has launched a Digifarm depot in Burnt Forest in Uasin Gishu County.
According to Safaricom Head of Rift Region Victor Ngumo, the depot is part of the company's efforts to provide access to high quality inputs and provide sustainable markets in a bid to encourage more smallholder farmers to transition into agribusiness.
"Sixty percent of Kenyans are employed in the agricultural sector but only 30 percent of our GDP comes from agriculture. This means that there is a gap. We understand that small scale farmers have a lot of challenges and that is why we came up with the idea," said Ngumo.
He noted that the depot which was opened in partnership with agricultural supply chain experts iProcure is targeted at thousands of farmers across the county.
Ngumo added that since the launch of Digifarm in October 2017, over 672,000 farmers had been registered and over 7,000 loans had been disbursed through a mobile phone module.
"The farmers in and around the county will receive high quality seeds, fertilisers, animal feeds and agricultural chemicals. Farmers will be able to purchase these inputs via M-PESA or credit payable between 30, 60 or – 90 days depending on the credit package a farmer gets," he added.
Ngumo added that the depot would act as a source of vital data for the county government enabling them to use the information for planning and resource allocation.
Agriculture digital business product manager Elizabeth Mudogo said that the depot is part of the company’s efforts to reach its customers through the recently launched Twaweza Live experience.
"We will have a free medical camp in Huruma, a maternity in West Pokot and a mix of entertainment at Eldoret sports club," said Mudogo.
Digifarm is an integrated mobile platform that offers farmers convenient, one-stop access to a variety of services including discounted inputs and advice on input use, financing, and information on crops and animals.
The platform also improves collection of agricultural data by registering farmers and allowing them to key in information such as the size of their farms and nature of farming activities.