DigiFarm is a consumer mobile app solution which aims to find sustainable solutions for Smallholder farmers to expand and improve their business activities. DigiFarm is continuously expanding and improving its existing capabilities. The service enables farmers to buy inputs through the M-Pesa mobile money system and to acquire credit to purchase inputs. It also provides farmers with Push-Agri-learning content, supporting farmers with guidelines on how, when to plant a certain crop, how and when to harvest etc. Africa’s agricultural production relies mainly on the output of smallholder farmers (SHF). This results in farming activities being carried out inefficiently and in isolation, making it difficult for farmers to expand and improve their activities. With that notion in mind, we challenged ourselves to develop a solution which can empower users to change their status quo. Inefficiencies in the value chain were recognised as the main issues which prevented farmers to empower themselves. Indeed, lack of quality education, limited access to finance, and indirect interaction with markets together, prevent farmers from fully harnessing existing market opportunities. However, 90% smallholder farmers own mobile phones. In this hostile environment, we deem mobile technology to be ‘the’ solution aimed at overcoming Smallholder Farmers’ business hurdles.
“Very impressive collaboration between stakeholders, demonstrating how relatively simple and, by today’s standard, ‘old’ technology can be used to improve the lives of millions.”
5a. Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets
Gloria Jun Zhang
Horizon Research Consultancy Group
Managing Director China
Head of 5G Research