Safaricom believes that mobile agriculture platform DigiFarm will outgrow M-PESA in the next five years. Speaking at the Afro-Asian Fintech Festival at the Kenya School of Monetary Studie, Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom said DigiFarm’s growth has been phenomenal since it was launched in October 2017 with over 1 million farmers already registered on the platform.
DigiFarm was launched in partnership with iProcure, Arifu and Farmdrive and aims to digitize the entire agriculture value chains. As of last year, over 200,000 farmers were using the service daily and 7,000 successfully taking out loans to assist with purchasing high-quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
“In line with our Purpose of Transforming lives, we have provided a mobile technology platform for the smallholding farmers to access a suite of information and financial services, said Sitoyo.
In addition, farmers get access to credit and other financial facilities. They are also enabled to share information, such as expected yields with processors, with all the financial transactions taking place within the M-PESA ecosystem.
Safaricom says more growth is expected on this platform as the Fintech Industry in Kenya has been attracting huge investments over the last few years and is estimated to be worth around USD 1 Billion by 2020.
According to the 2019 Economic Survey, Agriculture remains the dominant sector in the economy, accounting for 34.2% percent of the total value. Currently, Safaricom says it is exploring an end to end buyer –led model that will guarantee farmers access to ready markets for their produce, at a fair price.
In March, Makueni County entered into a partnership with DigiFarm and Bidco Africa to provide a ready market for 640 farmers who are the first beneficiaries of an end to end buyer-driven model. In this arrangement, Bidco Africa provides a ready market for their produce which is used as raw materials in the processing of edible oils.