Accessing finances has always been a big challenge for most farmers, especially smallholders, resulting in poor yields and low income.
This is partly due to their inability to purchase the required inputs.
Many farmers are also unable to save for the next harvest or production, and live from hand to mouth. Buyers of the produce also add to the pain of the farmer, who is sometimes forced to wait for months for payment and misses an opportunity to buy inputs.
However, this is set to change, with the introduction of the Agri-wallet, a digital financial platform that enables farmers to buy, sell and get paid promptly, and to save and obtain loans. With the Agri-wallet, farmers get prompt payments for their produce, can access farm inputs when needed, since it saves cash automatically for inputs.
One can also get a loan through one’s mobile phone. Since last year, Mr Jackson Rotich has been promptly purchasing agro-inputs for his dairy cows. For the first time, the 59-year-old farmer has been able to obtain quality inputs at affordable prices.
For years, Mr Rotich had to seek loans to buy feed and other inputs for his six-acre farm in Siwot Village, Nakuru County, and by the time he got the money, he would have used it up on his household needs. And it was not easy as banks needed collateral and it took a lot of time to process the loans, which to Mr Rotich, meant low milk yields and unhealthy heifers.