Kenya: OLX Kenya Launches SMS Platform to Aid Potato Farmers Sell Their Produce

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Kenyan farmers have a reason to smile as OLX Kenya has launched a service to help Kenyan potato farmers without smartphones or internet access sell their produce via SMS.

The launch comes after the new OLX agriculture category that was introduced in March to get rid of middlemen that were exploiting farmers.

The farmers will only be required to dial *887# and select their regions their. After that, OLX gets a notification and they go ahead to connect the farmers with potential buyers. Right now, the service is available only in Nyandarua and Nakuru counties but OLX is expanding to other regions soon. Around 9,000 farmers have already signed up to the service.

Talking about the launch, OLX Country Manager, Peter Ndiang'ui said, "Potatoes form the bulk of food consumed in most urban areas. Our venture in potato farming is aimed at adding value to farmers by eliminating middlemen who have fragmented the supply-demand chain. Most of these farmers do not own smartphones. It is, for this reason, we have introduced the SMS service to target potato farmers who do not own smartphones but want to use our platform."

He added that "Potato farming generates KES 25 billion at farm gate prices yet farmers profit margins are still negligible. By working directly with OLX, farmers will now increase profits through a shortened value chain. Our aim is to ensure farmers get value for their produce and buyers receive quality straight from the farm through OLX."

In a quest to improve on customer relations and engagement, OLX launched a similar product in Nigeria in April. Dubbed as "Do-it-for-me", the service helps users sell their products and manage their transactions through verified 'champions'.

Through the OLX agriculture Category, OLX Kenya is also working on helping farmers purchase fertilizers, agrochemicals, and seeds at a subsidized rate.
Source: CIO East Africa