, MAKUENI, Kenya, Aug 2 – Over 150,000 Farmers in Makueni County will now access information on the best farming practice, discounted farm inputs and credit services through Safaricom’s DigiFarm service.
Safaricom Director of Strategy and Innovation, Joe Ogutu, says DigiFarm will open three depots in Wote, Kalawani and Mbumbuni allowing farmers to access quality and discounted farm inputs.
Acquisition of farmers in Makueni began in mid-June, and so far, 120,000 farmers have been educated on DigiFarm, an achievement Ogutu credits to the County’s on-going efforts of improving the livelihood of farmers.
“There is a lot of work that has been going on (in Makueni) in terms of increasing productivity of the farms so it is our hope that we can replicate this in other counties. This platform is there to ensure that farmers get the best prices and have all the information they require,” said Ogutu.
This drive has so far covered Wote, Mbooni and Kibwezi East sub-counties with Kilome and Kaiti to be covered in August.
Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana says farmer support through digital platforms will enable the production of quality products as well as direct farmers to ready markets, cutting off middlemen and brokers.
“As a farmer wants to have information on the type of agriculture they want to embark on, the farmer is helped to learn through this simple phone just as we do with M-Pesa. They can get extension services through this new way of doing agriculture,” said Governor Kibwana.
Makueni farmers will benefit from the all-round availability of inputs at the depots, especially during peak season, and access to advisory and technical information from experts stationed at each of the depots.
Launched in October 2017, Digifarm now serves more than 700,000 farmers and has opened 18 depots across the country.