Kenyan agribusiness startup, M-Farm has today received Ksh 20 million in grants from M-Pesa’s charity arm, M-Pesa Foundation in a move expected to improve agri-business among small scale farmers in the country.
M-Farm will use the cash grant to pilot the Farm Agent and Quality Control Model to deliver information and better prices to smallholder farmers through mobile technology. With this grant, M-Farm will make agriculture a viable business option especially for small scale farmers who have over the years suffered exploitation by middlemen which has left them making low profit margins.
According to M-Pesa Foundation Executive Director Les Baillie, “M-Pesa Foundation is bridging the digital divide between agricultural sector and the ICT sector by partnering with M-Farm Limited to support agribusiness. We are about transforming lives and we believe this will change the lives of farmers for the better.”
The partnership is touted to increase transparency in the agricultural crop market and ensure best practices in agriculture using web and mobile technology, share crop prices throughout the country, train farmers and exchange platform for commodities.
“This software will ensure that farmers are no longer exploited by middlemen who make away with all the profits leaving the small scale farmers with little if any income,” said M-Farm CEO Jamilla Abbas.
Run separately from Safaricom Foundation, M-Pesa Foundation implements large scale and long term high impact social projects in the areas of education, health and environmental conservation for the social and economic benefit of Kenyans. It also promotes projects that use mobile communications technology that lead to social and economic development.