Farm IT – The messaging platform for Kenyan farmers to get agronomic information electronically
FARM IT is a mobile based messaging platform where small scale Kenyan farmers, extension agents, traders and other stakeholders in the agri-value chain share agricultural information. The company was founded by Allan Coredo with only $600 as an initial capital.
We had the opportunity to interview the Founder, Allan Coredo, who’s part of the Africans Building Africa Community.
1. Tell us about yourselves and your organization
My name is Allan Coredo, I am the Founder of FarmIT a mobile based platform where farmers get precise and timely agronomic information via sms to improve their yield.
78% of the Kenya population are living in the rural areas with the majority being small scale farmers who rely on agriculture as the source of their livelihood. Although agriculture contributes 25% of the GDP most farmers are still living under one dollar a day.
With agriculture having a potential to develop the economy of Kenya, farmers are still stuck to the convectional ways of farming such as relying on the face to face interaction by extensions agents to provide them with agricultural information, going physically to the market to confirm prices or wait to be exploited by middlemen. The escalating exploitation and unreliability of extension agents has resulted in agricultural information gaps among rural small scale farmers..
Farm IT wants to alleviate small scale farmers from this vicious cycle of poverty through provision of timely and relevant agricultural information through our unique SMS MESSAGING SERVICE. The messaging platform will provide an avenue where small scale farmers, agricultural professionals, star farmers and other stakeholders in the agricultural value chain share agricultural information, service, and advisories.
2. How much did you need to start your organization and how were you able to raise that capital?
I started with $400 which was a loan from my brother in law.
3. What are some of the challenges you face in your organization and how do you overcome those challenges?
Selling Technology to farmers especially old farmers is a problem and we have not figured out successful models yet. Additionally, There is the lack of financial resource for us to scale up along with poor strategies that have failed.
This Story is sponsored by: Abel Communications
4. Where do you see your organization in 5 years from now and what steps are you taking today to reach that objective?
Five years down the line, FarmIT will be an agricultural organization that has created a huge impact across Africa. We’ll do so by raising farm productivity and helping in formulating policies that will increases food security in Africa and improve livelihood of small scale farmers.
5. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to start a business in Africa?
We started with only $400 and we are still growing as young entrepreneurs. So, stop procrastinating and giving all types of excuses and just start the venture.
6. How is your business participating to the development of Africa?
FarmIT is committed towards improving agricultural productivity among small scale horticultural farmers and by doing so we get the chance to help farmers improve livelihood and hence eradicate poverty in Africa.