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Tuesday, May 16 • 11:45 - 12:25
Mobile commerce for the BoP LIMITED

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Incomes of smallholder farmers (SHF) in Africa remain stubbornly low, largely due to low productivity levels, high post-harvest losses and lack of market information on the value of their crop, among other factors. Increasing productivity is a vital strategy for poverty reduction among farmers that are unable to expand their land holding.

Access to and proper use of inputs such as fertilizer, seeds and pesticides are key to increasing productivity. Input usage among smallholder farmers in Africa is low; average application of fertilizer in SSA is 9kg per hectare, compared to a recommended amount of 50kg. Among the reasons for low input usage are high costs of inputs and lack of access to capital to procure inputs.

Esoko seeks to transform agriculture in Africa by pioneering the field of mobile commerce for smallholder farmers. We have developed a virtual marketplace that connects SHF to inputs, finance and commodity markets. Through this platform, farmers lay away cash towards the purchase of agricultural inputs through a mobile money wallet. Once a farmer builds a transactional history on the platform, financial institutions can use this information to undertake credible risk assessment for loan disbursement. In the future, farmers will also be able to sell their produce to buyers on the platform.

We call our mobile commerce solution ‘Alibaba for smallholder farmers in Africa’; because like Alibaba, it’s designed to make it easier for small farm businesses to buy and sell goods and services. Our vision is to empower millions of rural buyers and sellers in Africa to prosper by connecting them to information, finance and markets.

Through this presentation, we hope to share our journey in developing and implementing this innovative solution in Ghana and Kenya.

avatar for Hillary Miller-Wise

Hillary Miller-Wise

Founder and CEO, Tulaa
Fintech, VAS, m-agri

Tuesday May 16, 2017 11:45 - 12:25 IST