In Gambia, IT entrepreneur Modou Njie saw an opportunity to buy food directly from local food producers and cut out the middleman, launching Farm Fresh.
The idea sprung from his frustration at buying imported fruits and vegetables at premium prices and its unsustainability. He also read a lot about the health implications of consuming canned and processed food. He became motivated by the fact that he found so many women engaging in horticultural activities who lacked the market to sell their products, and felt that he could act as a gateway.
The agricultural production is the main economy activity in Gambia but has declined as a result of several factors including poor rainfall distribution, weak marketing infrastructure, lack of access to credit with limited resources base. The access to healthy and affordable food for the public is not easy, as well as the marketing of farmers’ products which is not developed and leads to the food waste and losses.
Farm Fresh is a Gambian social enterprise that is trying to solve the marketing of smallholder farmers’ local products through an e-commerce platform. They specialize in the marketing and selling online (e-commerce) of fresh and locally grown vegetables, fruits and processed food items in partnership with farmers and food processors across the country.
By partnering with farmers, Farm Fresh ensures a regular source of income generation for farmers thereby contributing towards poverty alleviation. Farm Fresh thus intervenes in the value chain by bridging the existing gap between production and delivery; and therefore being a crucial player in the marketing unit of the value chain. Its website offers more than 100 products, while farmers receive specific orders and a guarantee the produce will be bought from them.
Farm Fresh has seen steady demand in its first year and is soon launching in Sierra Leone with plans to extend to Senegal and Ghana among other potential partners in 4 other countries in Africa including South Africa.