Kenyan IT firm launches online portal for farmers

Kenyan IT firm launches online portal for farmersDevelopers say the platform will empower farmers to trade their grain competitively across East Africa. (Image source: IICD/Flickr)An online trading platform has been launched to connect East African grain farmers with potential buyers

Developed by Kenyan IT company Virtual City, in partnership with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and the Food Trade Eastern and Southern Africa Organisation, G-Soko is now operational in Uganda and Kenya, and is set to be rolled out to cover Tanzania and Rwanda over the coming months.

The platform performs a structured trade function that integrates the entire grain trade from farm to market, enabling farmers to aggregate their produce through certified warehouses, as well as providing access to financial services, using their grains as collateral.

The developers said G-Soko will help to create surpluses and accelerate the use of grades and standards for staple crops, as well as ensuring that farmers are able to trade their grain competitively and transparently across the region.

Speaking at the platform’s launch, Jean Baptiste Havugimana, director for productive sectors at regional organisation, the East African Community (EAC), which has thrown its weight behind the project, said, “As a private sector partner, we believe G-Soko will provide a wider grain market for all the countries in the region.

“Farmers from the member states can now trade freely as part of the common market protocol, through this partnership.”

Havugimana also pledged the organisation’s “continued support in automating agricultural crop trading systems and processes to reduce commercialisation costs and all related challenges, and bridge the gap between farmers, traders and consumers for increased food security in the region”.

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