Digifarm to Outpace M-pesa as New Revenue Stream for Safaricom in Five Years

Digifarm to Outpace M-pesa as New Revenue Stream for Safaricom in Five Years

From left: Kenya Livestock Producers Association, CEO, Patrick Kimani, Bidco Agriculture Manager, John Kariuki, H.E. Governor Makueni County, Kivutha Kibwana and Safaricom Chief Enterprise Officer, Rita Okuthe during the flag off of the first sunflower buying process between Makueni county, Bidco Oil Refineries Limited and Safaricom DigiFarm.

Safaricom’s Digifarm, a consumer mobile app solution which aims to find sustainable solutions for smallholder farmers to expand and improve their business activities, is projected to outpace M-Pesa in performance in the next five years.

“The rate of growth has been phenomenal and we expect that DigiFarm will be bigger than M-Pesa in the next three to five years,” says Chief Financial Officer Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.

“Using the mobile technology platform, smallholder farmers get access to information on financial services. They also receive discounted products, customized information and tutorials on farming practices,” he added.

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Digifarm was introduced to the Kenyan market in 2017, through a partnership between Safaricom and iProcure, Arifu and Farmdrive. It’s service available to all Safaricom subscribers: via *283# on the phone to access the platform.

According to Lopokoiyit, the platform remains focused on digitizing the entire agriculture value chain and has so far registered over 1 million farmers on the platform where the platform is projected to be worth US$1 Billion by 2020.

Through the platform, DigiFarm is continuously expanding and improving its existing capabilities. 

Initially, the service enabled farmers to buy inputs through the M-Pesa mobile money system. It also provided farmers with Push-Agri-learning content, supporting farmers with guidelines on how, when to plant a certain crop, how and when to harvest etc. Reports could also be created, registering input purchases, production and trade levels.

They also get to share information, such as expected yields with processors, with all the financial transactions taking place within the M-PESA ecosystem.

As of last year, over 200,000 farmers were using the service daily and 7,000 successfully taking out loans to assist with purchasing high-quality seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.