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Mkulima Young: One Stop Shop for farmers and other traders in agricultural value chain.

A mobile based one stop shop for farmers and other service providers in agricultural value chains

Photo of Joseph Macharia
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

Mkulima Young is a premier networking and marketing platform for farmers and other players in the agricultural value chains in Kenya. We connect farmers, buyers and sellers in the agricultural sector through an android mobile app, website, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. The basic platform is developed using social network framework that enables farmers to interact with traders, retailers’ consumers and each other. The network encourages the emergence of a sustainable and fair marketplace, increased productivity through provision of farming information, increased profitability by reducing information asymmetry eg in price and demand, enables cooperation and knowledge sharing, expand the local market size and potentially improve bargaining powers of smallholders farmers while giving them the power to decide on the price.The component has a dashboard where farmers can post their produce (earlier before harvesting), quote price and give their location. This creates a virtual marketplace where purchase and sale of produce is e initialized and transactions done virtually after due diligence or face-to-face meeting. The platform also enables farmers to t questions and demand driven information developed to the frequent asked questions. Mkulima young rides on the rapid uptake of ICT Africa, which has been identified as an important opportunity to improve the performance of agricultural value chains from the farm to the market. Mkulima Young is a social enterprise.

WHO BENEFITS?

Our main beneficiaries are farmers and other actors in agricultural values chains such as input providers, traders, transporters and even consumers. From the platform farmers are able to access vital and relevant information while accessing a market for their produce. The traders and input sellers on the other hand are able to access the commodities they need while also selling their services and goods to customers .

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

It will be implemented in the whole of Kenya with spill over to Tanzania and Uganda

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

The founder of Mkulima Young is a trained extension officer. Mkulima Young is an organization based in Kenya but with reach to other countries in Africa in agribusiness development focusing on youth engagement and building their capacity to pursue opportunities in agribusiness.

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

This is not a new idea. It has already been tested for one year. The app is integrated with the website www.mkulimayoung.com which has been in existence for 3 years.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

The idea is unique in that it will provide a one stop shop for farmers. It allows farmers to market their produce while still in the farm and empowers them to decide on selling price through comparison and evaluation of cost of production. Farmers advertise their produce to a wider audience virtually hence access a wider market base. Farmers can also ask questions to other farmers and technical people in agriculture. The farmers market their own products by taking pictures of the produce in the farm and posting it before harvesting, They can also ask questions and get more resourceful information in agriculture from experts through the platform. The unique advantage we have is the huge social network followings that gives the farmers produce wide market catchment. The idea has been developed as per the need and demand by the users and has been tested and continuously modified to meet the changing times. The enabling environment in ICT and especially wide penetration of mobile phone technology in Kenya accelerates adoption.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

Mkulima Young team are dedicated in making this idea a reality. We also have partners in the agriculture sector such as the inputs suppliers.

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

What to incorporate in our app such as the transport and the business model and improving trust on the virtual platform.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

How to develop a more comprehensive business model

WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?

Most farmers have not been able to market their farm produce to a wider audience without the middlemen. Their produce sometimes goes to waste due to lack of awareness by the buyers and also the market distortion created by the presence of very few middlemen who dictate prices and market access for their own individual gain. In our knowledge there hasn't been a platform where a farmer can advertise their produce directly, (even before harvesting), exchange information with other farmers and seek required information from the comfort of his farm. Buyers are made aware of the available produce and transporters can offer services. This enhances business activities in the agribusiness value chain

WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?

The ultimate goal is to have a one stop shop online market place in agriculture. Farmers are connected to each other and meet other services providers such as transporter, inputs and equipment suppliers in East Africa. Our next step will involve developing the business model and investors in expanding the ideas to other developing countries and making the app available to IOS and windows.

MEMBERS OF MY TEAM HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER FOR:

  • Between 6 months and a year
  • More than a year

MY INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE:

  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within 100 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within in 500 km of where our team does most of its work
  • More than 500 km from where our team does most of its work

MY ORGANIZATION'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2015 WAS:

  • Under $100,000

Mkulima Young is an online platform that based in in Kenya but with reach to other countries in Africa in agribusiness development focusing on youth engagement and building their capacity to pursue opportunities in agribusiness. Young farmers are plagued with problems affecting their productivity and marketing where middlemen offer meager prices for their produce, delays with payments and expensive farm inputs. Mkulima Young is connecting young farmers and those aspiring them with each other in a virtual space'. Through this platform we provides an exclusive farmers marketplace where producers meet the buyers

Our activities encompass agricultural advisory and providing market access and information of high value products and services including, livestock and crop products. We also provide real time feedback to the inquiries of young and aspiring farmers. We utilize digital platform such as the website www.mkulimayoung.co.ke, social media (Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mkulima.young ,twitter https://twitter.com/mkulimayoung , WhatsApp and youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/mkulimayoung ) Recently we have developed a mobile app branded Mkulima Young available via Android operating system https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mkulimayoung.mkulimaApp&hl=en. Our strength is in application of social media and ICT to reach a large number of young and other people actively involved in agribusiness. We currently have over 80,000 followers/members on our Facebook page and 12,600 followers on twitter. We have over 4,000 downloads on our app within few months. Over the past four years of existence, we have gained extensive experience in the agricultural industry in Kenya and the region, and understand well the great potential of agribusiness and also some of the key issues that need strengthening through further research and capacity building to realize the full potential of the sector.


64 comments

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Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Joseph,

The Amplify team and our experts have some feedback from you:

How exactly the app will facilitate transport of produce by individual farmers to buyers?

Also, it is interesting that the app intends to go beyond the national frontiers, but it is not indicated what would be the added value of such an approach, how would this make the idea more viable? is there a market need or are the three countries' markets complementary in any way?

The fact that it targets young farmers is another valuable aspect.

In my view farmers are still in generation 2 mobile thus all such solutions over web are good for anchor buyers but less for farmers, is this true? Will farmers be able to access a tool like this? 

How does the app account for the fact that the price of produce is also a function of market movements, availability of produce in some areas? How are you taking into consideration logistical challenges liked to transport, building trust between sellers and buyers etc.?

Can you tell us more about the business model for this idea?

Please tell us more about how beneficaries have informed the design of this idea?

Looking forward to learning more! 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

TRANSPORT: Directly, the app and its supporting platforms will facilitate transport by disseminating information regarding informal and formal transport services and ride sharing/car-pooling. In particular, the app will have a section for transporters to advertise their services at a low cost to their target market. For instance the transit lorries that transport inputs from the cities to the rural areas usually return to the city empty. Using the app they can post transport services available with information such as give their location, time for departure and the capacity they can carry. This will enable to the buyers/sellers to book them for transport. Likewise, informal transport sharing opportunities can be facilitated through the supporting platforms. The more informal transport opportunities will arise without cost through the app and the supporting platforms. Based on the feedback provided, we will consider transport more closely in the development of the app. Another way in which the app will facilitate transport is by providing the location of the seller, which means that the buyer can contact those sellers in their area that are more easily accessed. Informal transport arrangements may also be made where, for instance, a relative of the buyer picks up the produce as they pass by the seller’s location. Indirectly, the app will facilitate transport of product by improving social capital within the farming regions. Mediums that facilitate farmer networks and farmer-to-farmer sharing help build positive social capital. Research indicates that support from social networks improves access to transport and the amount of distance that can be traveled. BEYOND MARKET FRONTIERS: Mkulima Young began as a project focused in Kenya, but we received a large amount of interest and engagement in other East African countries. To respond to the needs of app users, we developed sections to accommodate those countries. Since allow app users to limit their searches to particular countries, we have noticed a large amount of posting originating from outside of Kenya but within the same region. In hindsight, it makes sense that Eastern African farmers would seek to engage with Mkulima Young’s platforms, as they experience the same, common issues as young Kenyan farmers in terms of market access. These market access issues include long supply chains, poor access to market information, small volumes of food of varying quality and inefficient markets. In addition, inter-border agricultural commodities’ trading is common among East African countries, and various institutions have sought to promote intra-regional trade in East Africa to promote food security and development, especially as Africa has low levels of intra-regional trade. Similar to expanding or interlinking other markets, increasing those who can use the app to include communities outside of Kenya improves the efficiency of the marketplace as more sellers and buyers can be connected. Further, encompassing broader communities allows farmers to expand into new markets. FARMERS & PHONES: The farming scenarios in the east African is changing and especially Kenya. This can be attested by the media attention given to agriculture with the main newspapers dedicating several pages in agriculture weekly. With the perforations of the mobile phones, younger tech savvy people now have access to the information about how to farm. One study illustrates that almost seven-in-ten Kenyans (68%) who own a cell phone and use it regularly to make or receive payments. Further, the subset of the population with phones and with the app does not exist in a vacuum. We’ve observed how they take on an informal external support officer role by sharing the information they have with their parents and others who do not have access to the app. From our experience, they tend to use the app on behalf of their parents or to tell the group or person not using the app about the market opportunity. These observations are reflective of the fact that ICT is recognized as a key way to promote social learning and market access opportunities. Accordingly, ICT interventions like our app make important contributions to agricultural productivity and sustainability, and mobile phones tend to be easily accessible to young people in Kenya. Also the app is integrated with website that can be accessed by ordinary phones. TRUST: Will have ratings on products and farmers profile. Also the admin moderates the postings. PRICING: Produce are posted at farm gate price by farmers BUSINESS MODEL: Developed as a social entrepreneur model solving a community need. Will encompass online advertisements and home deliveries of farm produce. DESIGN & BENEFICIARIES: Originally Mkulima Young was a Facebook page. Users demanded for a  website and app. Feedback such as ratings, having different countries and having the app in windows and IOS. To have a premium product where users can pay a fee for a specialized service.

Photo of Chioma Ume
Team

Hi Joseph,
Thanks so much for your detailed response! One last follow up - you mention you started as a Facebook page - how have your numbers transferred? Are there the same or more people using the app now?

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

The app has been in existence for less than a year compared to the Facebook page which has been in existence for 5 years. The numbers are not the same but the rate of adoption compared to the rate of growth of the FB page is almost the same. The limitations of the app is we are still developing and changing according to the users feedback compared to the Facebook which is already developed. The strength we have is the integration of the app, website and the social media. If a farmer post a product using the app it will appear in the website. Like wise if the post is made in the wesbsite it will appear in the app. We then amplify using the social media.

Photo of marco mihambo
Team

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/ideas/food-rescue-program-from-the-farm-to-the-mouth-in-need/comments#

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

I see a possible collaboration and partnership in what you are doing in Tanzania especially in the area of ICT.

Photo of marco mihambo
Team

Hello!Joseph Macharia
Your idea is one of the promising idea....But may please spent sometime to our work and recommend accordingly as far as your ICT experience is concerned if there is any room for our project to integrate ICT'S issues.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for your comment. Kindly give website link to your work.

Photo of Edwin Adenya
Team

Mkulima young app is very innovative. It encourages the free flow of information regardless of qualification and titles. Members learn more from each other and the use of pictures/short videos facilitates the adoption of technologies. I like the idea where farmers are able to market their produce without anyone charging commission or facilitation fees. The platform has been tested and its demand driven by the users. By its nature of interaction it is easy to get a review of a seller of goods and services. A geographical mapping of most of the users has made it easy to know who is producing what, where and when. I would suggest that the app is improved to generate a summary of hot trending topics, innovations and most traded items. Finally based on the age bracket of the users, the need for support in terms of capital and financial strategy support need to be emphasized. The users have very good ideas but they need finances. Venture capitalism is the way to go. The members can also pool their little resources in form of a Savings and Credit cooperative or producer organization. Keep up the good work.
Edwin Adenya - Farmer, Siaya County, Kenya.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks Edwin,
We will consider the summary of hot trending topics , innovations (especially from our social media platforms) and most traded items. The final stage from information, markets will be capital. Formation of Savings and Credit cooperative needs to be implemented. We will be consulting you on this.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks Edwin,
We will consider the summary of hot trending topics , innovations (especially from our social media platforms) and most traded items. The final stage from information, markets will be capital. Formation of Savings and Credit cooperative needs to be implemented. We will be consulting you on this.

Photo of Keron Bascombe
Team

I love this app! If I were living in their region of the world it would definitely be my go to app. Not only does it provide the information needed for exchange of goods but it also empowers the producers making them the price makers.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you,
We do hope we will expand to your region. As per your comment, our agenda empowers the farmers (producers) in making them the price makers.

Photo of Yury
Team

Great idea you have Guys! Wish you all the best with the developing this awesome project!
Cheers,

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you

Photo of Tsega Tadesse
Team

One of the powerful aspects of this idea is that it allows the young farmers to drive and create the content and engagement they want. This helps the initiative have an inbuilt feedback loop where it stays true to the needs of the users and community it is aiming to serve. The self-perpetuating aspects creates a space for ownership as well as sustainability. The idea also has scalability potential. Can you imagine a movement of young farmers across Africa supporting each other to achieve greater knowledge, excellence and quality of work?

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks Tsega.
Any inputs how Mkulima Young can create that movement of young farmers in a sustainable way?

Photo of Moka Lantum
Team

Brilliant. Relevant. Organically authentic. Presents and represents the African youth as relevant and full of ambition. Keep that authentic voice and you will go,places with this venture,  JM...

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for the compliments

Photo of Jonathan Mativo
Team

This is good. I first interacted with Mkulima Young almost two years ago through facebook. I remember i was looking for any one doing the hydroponics in Kenya. Out of a google search his facebook page came and within a very short time from his platform i had got numerous answers to my problem.

I personally train rural youth in Kenya on technology and agriculture is an integral part of most of the activities we encourage youth to undertake. Over 80% of our youth in rural areas now can access internet from the mobile phones and with the invent of smartphones it has become so easy for them to make use of mobile applications as well as the main stream social media.

Upon meeting Mkulima young and getting to know the other platforms that they have developed, in my organization we have included his platforms as part of our training modules for technology in the villages. 

The usability of the mkulima young mobile app can not be underestimated since it's structure is simple and rural youth find it so easy to use it. Through this we have made it possible for more youth to engage in Agriculture as well as share their experiences over the platform. Thanks to the initiator of this.

However for now the youth are getting all this valuable information for free and would wish if you could bring in a cost element mainly at the level of either selling their products which make it more sustainable. I believe that information is power and many youth even in the rural would pay to get it especially like this agriculture based information since it helps them directly.

Once more congrats on this great idea

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you, Jonathan, for the comments.
We are considering a cost element at the point of selling though we are studying the behaviour of the sellers and buyers to understand the transactions that take place before introducing cost elements.

Photo of Santosh Kumar
Team

Benefits of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Farmer Organizations and Cooperatives

1. Introduction:
Farmer organizations play an important role in tackling the systemic causes of poverty, because they give farmers, men and women, a legitimate voice in shaping pro-poor rural policies. By articulating farmers’ interests to public and private institutions, farmer organizations encourage those institutions to tailor their strategies, products, and services to farmers’ needs. Given a supportive policy framework, farmer organizations are well able to drive balanced social and economic development.

When considering the value of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to farmer organizations and cooperatives, it is worth bearing in mind that in remote rural areas of many developing countries, particularly in Africa, these organizations often are the only ones operating. Local government offices may be found in district headquarters, but often there is little else apart from frontline extension officers and schools. Farmer organizations have enormous potential (which should not be underestimated) for networking and bringing people together with the help of ICTs

2. Advantages:
The benefits offered by ICTs to producer organizations and agricultural cooperatives fall into three broad categories. Practical examples of ICTs in use sometimes cut across these arbitrary categories, and particular technologies may bring unexpected benefits, but the examples in this module are presented in three sections to reflect this categorization:
a) Enhanced connections to members: Through the organization, farmers share market information and technical know-how, and they remain informed about the organization’s activities. For instance, topics discussed and decisions taken at board or executive committee meetings can be shared with members who, for reasons of distance or cost (direct and opportunity) cannot attend.
b) Improved accounting and administration: Farmer organizations are often responsible for handling very large amounts of money that may represent the cash income of thousands of farm families. Efficient record keeping allows an organization to serve its members better, and the transparency offered by computerization and other technologies enhances trust.
c) Stronger collective voice, including improved political voice: ‘Interactivity’ as understood in developed countries with good infrastructure is still rare in many parts of the world. But individual farmers nevertheless “have their say” by phoning and texting their participation in agricultural radio broadcasts. They give feedback (and complain when necessary) about the services offered by their farmer organization and local government.

Despite the potential benefits of ICTs, farmer organizations are rarely the first to adopt them, given that they usually work in difficult environments with low margins to generate income for their members. Neither managers nor members are preoccupied with the latest iPad. Where particular ICT solutions are available and necessary to guarantee better performance and benefits to members, farmer organizations can be expected to be late adopters of such technology without external support. In general, it is governments, donors, and NGOs that have the funds to develop and test ICT solutions that may benefit farmer organizations.

3. Challenges:
The challenge in most cases is to sustain the use of ICTs after the period of support. Costs are associated with change, not only equipment costs but also the costs of maintenance, training, and continuing development. New technology must either generate enough extra income for an organization to cover ongoing costs, or individual users must see enough tangible benefits in order to pay for the technology.

4. Enablers:
One way of looking at the sustainability issue is to regard well-functioning farmer organizations as a public good that merits support from public funds, at least initially. Given the vital role of such organizations in helping impoverished farmers improve their living standards in areas that may be poorly reached by other interventions, this argument is powerful. Public-private partnerships are also important, as developments in ICT come largely from the private sector. Dealing with such partnerships will be a critical issue.



Contributor: Dr. Santosh Kumar Mishra, Technical Assistant, Population Education Resource Centre (PERC), Department of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension Work, S. N. D. T. Women's University, Patkar Hall Building, First Floor, 1, Nathibai Thackerey Road, Mumbai-400020, Maharashtra, India. Email: drskmishrain@yahoo.com | Skype: mishra5959 | Tel.: +91-022-22066892 (O) +91-022-28090363 (R) +09224380445 (M) | Institutional Web: http://sndt.ac.in

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you Dr. Santosh for your useful contributions.
We agree that sustainability is always a challenge for ICT especially those targeting farmers. Most of them do not have a business model. Mkulima Young is founded on a social entrepreneur ideologies. Social entrepreneurs are restless, mission-driven individuals that strive to change the world, their cities, and their communities by implementing  ventures designed to create social impact. Our main agenda is to solve a problem then put the business aspect after acceptance and adoption of the idea.  The founder is an experience extension officer solving a need for a problem which the farmers are adopting.  Adoption is a process that requires time in monitoring before the business aspect. Nevertheless, we are in agreeably with your suggestions of public-private partnership. We are also looking forward to possible ideas from the community.

Photo of EstherScience Ngumbi
Team

Great initiative! Great project! This is one of the ideas that I highly recommend for funding. Mkulima Young has already done a tremendous job and I expect him and his organization to keep rising. 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you Esther,
Any suggestions of functionality you would like to see in the app?

Photo of Elly Mulah
Team

Nice Idea Jose,
Lets scale up and benefit the small scale farmers.what will happen to farmers who dont  have smart phones

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

We posit that technology is 'forward looking. Smart phone is the future. In addition to that the app is integrated with Mkulima Young website. A farmer with a mobile phone that can access internet can post a product which will also appear in the app. The app can also has offline capability that enabling farmer access information when offline and updates when online.

Photo of Obed Makori
Team

The access to information and markets is Key to development. With Agriculture being the next Frontier, the Mkulima Young APP couldn't come at a better time. The young will be encouraged to venture into farming as a business and with access to information & Markets, this is the APP to use. Kudos MY team

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks for your comments

Photo of James Nderitu
Team

Mkulima young is first and foremost important in that previously, the activity of farming was viewed as part of the retirement and thus a last option. with the name Mkulima young, it is attracting the youth and other people who no longer view farming as a last resort. 
Mkulima young adds skills to farmers, links them to technology and most important bridges the market gap. what needs to be done in future with Mkulima Young is engaging long term buyers who can even do forward contracting guaranteeing the market and as well as locking in the supplies as long as the farmers are able to break even. 
many farmers have suffered in the hands of brokers which is among the issues that Mkulima young is addressing. on the issue of trace-ability, the app can make the consumer even visit the producer and thus ensure the right practices are done. furthermore, some production in toxic areas scare consumers which is not possible to happen with Mkulima young.
we hope this App is replicable in the whole of the Sub-Saharan area.   

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you, James. Thank you for highlighting the issue of middlemen in the market of agricultural produce by farmers. The app allows the farmer to make a decision of the best selling price independently after studying the same produce trend prices in the app. Mkulima Young app provides the online marketplace where farmers are able to place their produce for the sellers.

Photo of Ken Lohento
Team

Joseph Macharia has been playing a pioneering role regarding social media use for agricultural information delivery and networking in Kenya and Africa, with the Mkulima Young platforms he founded. This is why my organisation CTA has featured him in our new publication "Innovate for Agriculture" highlighting how young (social) entrepreneurs are overcoming challenges and transforming agri-food systems in Africa and beyond. Agriculture strongly contributes to GDP in Africa (between 30 to 50%), provides livelihoods opportunities to above 70% of the workforce, particularly to youth. Thus, initiatives leveraging on ICTs to enhance the sector are critical. We should then support young innovators like Joseph. Good luck!

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank  for your comments. CTA has been a key partner of Mkuliam Young, especially in ICT and Development. We have learned a lot from while sharing our knowledge and experiences in the field. This can be attested by featuring Mkulima Young in CTA publications http://publications.cta.int/en/publications/publication/1924/ . We look forward to continued partnership

Photo of Igah S Muigai
Team

Great initiative. Couldn't have come at a better time. With the advancement of technology and embracing of social media even in rural areas, as our young people network, they will learn more about agribusiness and stop job seeking to become employers. Again, thanks a lot for pioneering agritainment through your regular humor column. We not only laugh at ourselves but also learn. Always looking forward to the next edition. Keep it up, man.     

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks for the comments. Mkulima Young app is integrated with the social media thus providing wider market catchment for the young farmers especially those in the rural areas wjo are adopting to technology very fast.

Photo of Juma Ngomuo
Team

Good stuff Mkulima young Team... It is with pleasure that we at Tanzania Graduate Farmers Association (TGFA) whom Mkulima Young have been used by our members and stakeholders and their business is growing positively. It is through such kind of initiatives that i interacted with a lot of suppliers and demand and get business contacts.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Looking foward in enhancing our partnership in Tanzania. We have noted a huge users and followers of Mkulima Young in Tanzania.

Photo of Juma Ngomuo
Team

I support the upscale of Mkulima Young in East Africa since i need it to be widely used than now and so do others who want to network and make their information about products and services accessed in the region... I hope there is much more to get after upscale is going to be. 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

What would functionalities would you like to see in the app?

Photo of Fredrick Ouko
Team

This is the way to go,harnessing tech in improving livelihoods led by young people. This app will definitely create a mass of young farmers across Africa,the engine of our economies. Stuff we call Africans solving African problems aided by technology. Kudos Mkulima Young Team! Keep it real by showing the world how young people can contribute through farming.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you Fredrick for your comments.

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thanks Fredrick. How do you see Mkulima Young partnering with your network? We would be very much interested.

Photo of Shiro Karigo
Team

Hi, Joseph. Kudos and good work. I visited KACE (Kenya Agricultural Commodities Exchange) in 2012 as an agribusiness management student. They are based in Westlands and use the same concept in their business. The concept was impressive but business was slow at the time. Word of advice; keep innovating and developing your app because nowadays technologies are becoming obsolete very fast. All the best! 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for the insight. From your what perspective what made KACE business to go down so that we avoid the same mistake?

Photo of Marina Cherbonnier
Team

"Mkulima Young" is the first name that comes in mind, whenever we - the international network of young professionals for agricultural development: YPARD - think of "hands-on" projects that support youth's access to market. Mkulima Young knows how to massively reach out to its target group (the youth), to benefit the most. It started with Facebook and thousands of followers. It only sounds obvious that in a mobile era, they quickly adapted to their members' trends and are pioneering the use of mobile apps for youth-in-agriculture, for the benefit of their members. 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank You Maria. YPARD have been a great partner of Mkulima Young. Any idea or suggestions on how you would like to have Mkulima Young scaled up?

Photo of Juma Ngomuo
Team

I may add that MY is so user friendly no much steps and or wasting of time confirming your validity.. You get offer... one cpomment and or share.. you get the news and articles from Macharia... Interactions with other social network is the reason why i need Mkulima Young to Upscale its services, having agents having more users and i am ready to be poart of the more activr users... MY keep it up and lets do this KILIMO BUSINESS AND ASSOCIATES, Graduate Facers and others are your markets

Photo of Kimonge Ngomuo
Team

Mkulima young can much be used by most of the agriprenuers of east Africa especially the youth due to the rapid change of business in most parts of east Africa and it will create competition in applications such as G-soko 

Photo of Rims Agri Centre
Team

ICT  is greatly easing the way young farmers access information as wel as how they market their products. unfortunately this wave only benefits those with access to it, few youths in the village have access to internet where such exchanges happen. i commend every step Mkulima young is taking in connecting farmers, especially young farmers and i would urge each one of us with the chance to enlighten their villagers on some of these issues not to hesitate

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for your comments. We are riding on the mobile phone infrastructure already existing that has enabled mobile phone network coverage to almost every part of East Africa especially the highly productive areas. We believe technology is futuristic that soon the rural youth will have access to internet soon. Young Farmers Helping Young Farmers is our moto.

Photo of Rims Agri Centre
Team

Awesome MY. Am championing youth empowerment back home by making them see beyond the local shopping centre market day........Young farmers helping young farmer����

Photo of Morrison Ngari
Team

This is a great idea it will go a long way in improving how farming is done.Avoidance of wastage and spoilage is key to profitability

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for the comment. Any critique?

Photo of Steve Wangara
Team

Mkulima Young has been developed from a demand driven social network by young farmers who are using technology. This has played a critical role in the emergence of Telephone farmers - these are farmers who farm from a distance and visiting the farm occasionally. Youth are trendy and are always adopting to new technologies even in the rural areas.
The youth are also transferring the technology via ICT to their peers and those in the rural areas especially the parents.
Thus the penetration to the rural area has been possible. Furthermore rural areas are changing. The app needs scaling up to other countries having shown tremendous and impact organic growth without funding.

The app has been tested and users given feedback. This places it in a better place for success. It also makes agriculture enjoyable with the founder being a humour columnist in the local dailies.

By scaling up and make it available to iOS and windows will go a long in connecting farmers to market their produce

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

The phenomena of telephone farming has been due to proliferation of the mobile phone technologies. This phenomena has improved technology transfer and sharing - we believe thats where we play a critical role. Already the app allows farmers from other selected countries to post. I agree we need it in iOS and windows.

Photo of Fred Kariuki
Team

Mkulima Young App has truly revolutionized agriculture extension which is almost non-existent in our country. The aspect of connecting farmers and especially the young ones is noble. From the app, I learned how to grow fodder in a very short time for our cows back at home. The showcasing of best practices and the connections enables farmers to learn from each other.

Joseph, just like your interest in Bees....I see Mkulima Young just like that bee.....which without it, crops would not bear fruits. The bee does a very important task of pollinating....your team is doing the same.....pollinating our ideas that bear fruits for the young farmers. Keep the bees flying further and may the bees transverse the continent.

Photo of wekesa zab
Team

Hello Team Mkulima young, it is inspiring to see the work you are doing with player across the agriculture value chain .. am curious to find out more about the sustanability of your application : ( https://mobile.twitter.com/forrester/status/725362053238669312/photo/1 ) . am interested in your customer service touch points ( http://b2bstories.com/?attachment_id=38 ) and how your team can leverage this to deliver a delightful customer experience throught via offering .   
( http://adaptivepath.org/ideas/the-anatomy-of-an-experience-map/) : This might be a more elaborate guide 

Photo of Wendy Farms
Team

The Mkulima Young App has run brokers out of town since young farmers can sell their produce directly to the buyer without having to enlist the services of middle men. I would suggest an aggressive marketing campaign to popularize the App across the East Africa region. Any Venture Capitalist out here should consider giving Mkulima Young some funds to market the Mkulima Young App. It's a God send to is young farmers. 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you Wendy Farms for the insights. Up-scaling to the rest of Africa is our dream.

Photo of JohnsonHope18 .
Team

Apps like the Mkulima Young App as well as the broader work that Mkulima Young do is an essential part of adapting to changing climatic conditions, improving farm-based ecological knowledge for low-cost, sustainable farming and increasing access to markets, food security and social capital. ICT-based interventions have proven to be more effective than conventional media mediums at connecting farmers with buyers and sharing information (See, eg, Nielsen and Heffernan, 2006). Likewise, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge,Science and Technology for Development (2012) found that:

'The attributes of information communication technologies are linked directly and
indirectly with the sustainability and development goals. As internet access increases in rural areas, small-scale producers will benefit from more readily available information, both traditional and local knowledge and technological and market information, if private and public institutions take
up the challenge' (309).

The networks and market access opportunities that the Mkulimba Young App will facilitate is an exciting and vital development for the future of agriculture. In particular, this project could be scaled up to suit farmers from other countries in Africa and abroad. The potential here is strong. 

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you for you detailed comments. Indeed sharing information on climate smart agriculture is important to the farmers. This will enhance their adoption and resilience to climate change.
 How would you like us to improve our services?

Photo of Joseph Macharia
Team

Thank you Jean for compliments. "Young Framers Helping Young Farmers" is our motto. Where would you like Mkulima Young to improve their services?

Photo of Jean Kaahwa
Team

We young farmers from Uganda are happy with the work Mkulima Young is doing in providing us with valuable information on innovative farming.

Photo of Jean Kaahwa
Team

Great work, I can testify to the change Mkulima Young is doing to the young farmers. Information is easily shared on the Whatsapp groups and alot of innovations that young people need in farming today are showcased by this initiative.