DigiFarm is an integrated mobile platform that offers farmers convenient, one-stop access to a variety of services that decrease the cost and increase the quality of farm inputs, while enabling farmers to easily transact, learn and grow.
The minimum viable product will include:
(i) discounted quality inputs for smallholder farmers, available from depots run by iProcure;
(ii) an adaptive learning system delivered through a digital learning platform, delivered by Arifu; and
(ii) Safaricom services such as M-PESA, Lipa na M-PESA, and M-Shwari.
The DigiFarm suite of services will be provided over the Safaricom mobile network, in collaboration with iProcure and Arifu. The objective is to provide smallholder farmers with access to digitally-enabled financial and non-financial services that could increase their productivity, profitability, savings, and incomes. An initial pilot phase will see DigiFarm promoted in three dairy-farming regions of Kenya, including Nyahururu, Uasingishu, and Engineer.
With support from the MasterCard Foundation, Mercy Corps has provided on-going assistance in product design and the development of marketing strategies. With the support of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gui2de-East Africa will undertake a quantitative assessment of the impact of DigiFarm.
In addition to training farmers on how to use DigiFarm, our door-to-door strategy will also market M-Shwari to a random sub-sample of our farmers in an attempt to disentangle the effect of access to credit from that of DigiFarm’s core information services, and how the two products might interact to affect farmers’ economic lives. Lessons learned from this component of the research could directly affect further developments of the product in later phases.