Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Digital transformation to farmers is in place
Full implementation of digital marketplace is soon to become a relief to smallholder farmers engaged in organic farming who have been struggling to reap reasonable prices and reliable markets for their produce. And, already some 420 tomato farmers in Iringa have expressed willingness to use the application to sell their produce. Through a mobile application developed by an Israeli company Farmster, the farmers will be connected to local and international buyers where they can negotiate and settle for reasonable offers for their crops. “Many farmers have been held back by lack of reliable markets but this new application will enable them to have a wider access to buyers,” the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Farmster, Mr Adam Abramson, said in Dar es Salaam on Monday evening. The application is available to farmers with either smart phones or the normal cell phones, he explained, expressing optimism that the technology will do away with middlemen who have been exploiting farmers. The expat made the explanation during a presentation to members of Living Green Network at an event where the company and network signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for implementation of the initiative. The CEO of Living Green Network, Mr Adam Ngamange, was highly optimistic that the arrangement would enable the farmers to engage in fully-fledged commercial farming. “Markets for organic crops are available globally but our farmers have not been able to access the opportunities, this is the right time for them since you can connect to buyers even before harvesting the crops,” Mr Ngamange said. During the signing ceremony, the network which has 6,000 members signed an agreement with B and B Insurance Brokers to provide insurance cover for the farmers against risks such as floods, drought, fire as well as diseases. Mr Ngamange pointed further that plans are to engage Tanzania Women Bank (TWB) and Equity Bank to provide credit facilities to members of the network. A farmer from Bagamoyo in Coast Region, Mr Walter Muze, spoke highly of the technology, describing it as a relief to farmers who have been falling ‘prey’ to greedy middlemen. He was equally optimistic that the technology will play a great deal to members of the network who are engaged in block farming in Morogoro Region.