Kenya business is no stranger to agricultural inputs which form the bulk of the economical value chain. Since its establishment, Farmers Pride has become a high-flying startup with an aim to keep a grip on missing gaps in the agricultural value chain such as low distribution of farm input. It has helped agro-dealers and farmers alike in Kenya agribusiness scene through technological, financial, field extension education, soil testing and supply-related services. Bizrika wanted to learn more about the sweeping changes this company has been making in the agribusiness sector and spoke to the management.
Your company has filled some missing value chains in agribusiness. Why did you establish Farmers Pride?
My passion in agriculture and agribusiness started long ago while growing up in rural subsistence farming family and community in lower Eastern Kenya. After growing up seeing my parents and local community register poor farm yields every season and every year, I always loved to give my contribution to addressing common challenges that affected farm production.’’ Farmers Pride was born to address challenges faced by rural farmers and agro dealers in accessing quality agricultural inputs key services like soil testing and lastly farmer training and extension. Farmers Pride believes the three interventions are key tools that smallholder farmers and agro dealers need to became successful in their agribusiness ventures.
We understand you not only help agro dealers but farmers. How do you tow the line or satisfy the two?
Farmers access agricultural inputs, services and information majorly through local agro dealer shops. To Empower farmers we realized we also need to empower local agro dealers too. Farmers Pride business model integrates farmer field extension and education services, quality agricultural inputs sales and distribution, soil testing services and farmer insurance services to offer a reinforced platform for rural social and economic development. Farmers Pride aims to combat the mistrust between agro-dealers and farmers, which has arisen due to a number of issues, including related to profiteering in peak times when demand for inputs is high and affected by the sale of sub-standard and counterfeit agricultural inputs. The business is doing this by guaranteeing that goods provided are of a high quality for the local area and are certified, and only selling goods at the producers’ recommended retail price (RRP). That is how we empower both agro dealers and Farmers
Which franchise benefits does a dealer obtain from Farmer’s Pride?
1. Access quality inputs and Information/extension services
2. Farmer outreach activities and branding through Framers Pride technical team.
3. Access to unique services i.e. Insurance, soil testing and other services
In your website you mention technological and software support for agro dealers. Which specific tech do you offer?
Agro dealers joining the network get opportunity to install POS and Inventory control system facilitated through Farmers Pride.
Could you give us a brief on your farmer field extension and education program?
–Our Farmer extension services integrates different approaches raging from Demonstration Farm training(farmers are invited to a demo farm at different stages of the month and learn best practices right at the farm) to Promotion days (done in partnership with inputs manufacturers where special days are set and farmers gather for training sessions and product knowledge education and market day storms.
Do you also connect farming entities to financial institutions?
–We collect lots of our customer data ranging from purchase patterns, purchase frequency and purchase value, both weekly and monthly. This data we share with financial institutions and form part of farmer financial history to qualify for different loan products.
As a parting shot, after surmounting the distribution/input problem, which challenge do you think still remains for small-scale farmers in Kenya?
Smallholder farmers still face challenge of accessing credible agronomy and Vet services conveniently and effectively. We are currently working on a new product called Daktaripap. Daktaripap aims to leverage on mobile phone technology to increase farmer’s access to reliable livestock and crop healthcare. Through DaktariPap Android application farmers will be connected to nearest service provider-either crop or livestock, depending on problem presented, who ask a few basic questions and quickly recommend action. If onsite visit is needed, a visit is immediately scheduled with the nearest service provider to attend to the farmer within a promised turnaround time. DaktariPap platform will also be a key resource center to smallholder farmers where weather and best practices information will be shared regularly.
“When you put the right tools in farmers’ hands, the results can be magical.”
Thank you so much for talking to Bizrika.