How Selina Wamucii is Using Mobile Phone to Transform Smallhoder Supply Chain
“We are currently able to process only 2% of total orders requested and can barely keep up with the demand for our produce”, says John Oroko, the Chief Operating Officer for Selina Wamucii Ltd.
The mobile-driven business to business sourcing platform for fresh produce from smallholder farmers is taking the fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV) space by storm.
Farmers join the company’s sourcing platform by dialing a USSD code on their mobile phone.
With the founders Kariuki Gaita and John Oroko having been raised in 4th generation farming families, the company now has 3,156 smallholder farmers on its platform and is currently selling produce in Africa, Middle East, Europe and Far East.
“Market driven intelligence for produce from smallholder farmers has had little if any attention. That’s the reason Selina Wamucii was founded – to provide a platform that makes it easy to source produce from smallholder farmers in Africa.”, says John Oroko
According to John, the company is advantaged by the fact that it is operating at a time when the penetration of the mobile phone among smallholder farmers is at the highest. In fact smallholder farmers now have access to a mobile phone, making it easy for them to join the platform from wherever they might be located across Kenya’s food baskets.
The success experienced by Selina Wamucii within just two years of operation goes a long way to demonstrate the important role technology can play in making it efficient to source fresh produce from smallholder farmers, who actually produce 80% of all the food produced in Africa. It solves key challenges associated with smallholder supply chains across Africa.
Direct relationship with farmers
The company has produce agents who aggregate produce from the farmers and deliver it to the packhouse for grading and dispatch to clients locally and around the world.
“We train and give the produce agents necessary tools and resources to help them do a better job.” says John.
The Selina Farmers are mapped on the platform according to produce type, farm location, available produce and volumes. Mapping makes it efficient to source from smallholder farmers by Selina agents who harvest and aggregate the produce. Once the produce is keyed into the company’s platform, Selina Wamucii pays the farmers directly from the platform via mobile money and a traceability code is generated that traces the produce from farm, to the packhouse, all the way to the final consumer.