Hello, I´m going to show you today a very interesting initiative set up in Kenya, where basic economic principles in alliance with basic ICT (information and communication technology) are providing a highly valuable and useful service for small farmers disseminated all over Kenya, and now extending to other neighboring countries.
KACE (Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange) has developed a marketing information and linkage system (MILS) designed to facilitate competitive and efficient trade in agricultural commodities and services in Kenya, with the aim and potential for scaling out in the East African Community region. Through MILS, KACE collects, updates, analyses and provides reliable and timely marketing information and intelligence on a wide range of crop and livestock commodities, targeting actors in commodity value chains, with particular attention to smallholder farmers and small scale agribusinesses.
The information includes daily wholesale buying prices for various crop and livestock products in selected main markets in the country, as well as commodity offers to sell and bids to buy. KACE also links farmers and agribusinesses to markets through matching commodity offers and bids. Market information enhances the bargaining power of the farmer for a better price in the market place, and helps to link the farmer to input and output markets more efficiently and profitably.
As simple as that… Well, with the help of two easily accessible communication instruments: FM radio and SMS on mobile phones.
Soko Hewani involves using a radio programme to match offers to sell or lease, or bids to buy or rent agricultural and any other commodities, properties and services compiled by the KACE.Target agricultural commodities include maize, rice, wheat, millet, sorghum, beans, tomatoes, cabbages, onions, carrots, fruits, potatoes, bananas, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, chicken, turkeys, eggs, milk, fish, honey, seeds and fertilizers. Target properties include houses, offices, vehicles and land. Target services include processing, packaging, transport for commodities, storage / warehousing, grading, quality testing and finance.
The SMS service applies mobile telephony for market information delivery to users. The market information currently available includes daily wholesale buying prices for about 20 commodities, as well as offers to sell and bids to buy. Farmers, agribusinesses and other interested users who are mobile phone network subscribers download KACE market information as SMS messages.
Congratulations for so much wise initiative.