Bringing a Kenyan agricultural marketing platform to farmers in Uganda
The Mkulima Young project, which supports a platform that provides digital agricultural marketing services to small-scale farmers and links consumers interested in supporting local farmers, is underway is Kenya and Uganda. It hopes to attract young people back into the business of farming by improving their earning potential. It is essentially a place for buyers and sellers of agricultural products – crops, livestock and farming equipment/supplies – to find new products and markets.
You could call it a Gumtree for farmers in East Africa.
A segment on Kenyan TV featuring Mkulima Young.
With support from the Australian High Commission in Nairobi’s Direct Aid Program, we are working with our Kenyan partner ACLECOPS (the developer of the platform), to upgrade the functionality of the platform and promote it to new users in Kenya and now in Uganda.
In Uganda, farmers have received the platform with great enthusiasm. We have managed to recruit many new active users there, which is evidenced by the flourishing ‘soko’ or marketplace with many Ugandan products being sold in Ugandan shillings. We also have some great stories of successful transactions made by Ugandan farmers, some in the Eastern region who have sold to Kenyan buyers across the border. Watch this space in the future to meet these Uganda farmers. The platform stands out among other farming applications in the region as it is free to use, the sign up process is easy, and it specifically addresses the widespread problem for farmers here of finding a market for their products.
A snapshot of the online marketplace featuring products in Uganda being sold.
In the last 3 months, user consultants in Uganda have been busy promoting the platform on traditional media and in person to farmer groups and at the National Agricultural Show in Jinja – the largest of its kind in the country. After a period of online surveys and focus group discussions with current and new users in both countries, the website and application is undergoing an upgrade which will be launched later this year. In the coming months, with the new and improved platform, we look forward to stepping up the promotional exercises and media opportunities in both countries and will look to see how we can further improve the user experience and benefit from the platform in order to increase their profits and improve their decision making on farm.
User consultants in Jinga, Uganda promoting the platform to farmers and buyers at the National Agricultural Show in July.
From left to right: Jeremiah Lwebuga, Abel Muwanda and Francis Edilu.
Mr Patrick Kiirya (left), a lead farmer in the Busoga region of Uganda is excited about the potential of the Mkulima Young platform to increase farmer revenue in Uganda. Listen below to an interview with Patrick about his farming enterprise Busaino Fruits and Herbs and farming in Uganda. Here in Part 1, Patrick talks about the role of platforms like Mkulima Young for farmers, particularly the youth.