Peer-to-peer (P2P) farming information platform WeFarm, which launched in Kenya in November last year after spinning out of an NGO, has hit 22,000 users, and is aiming to reach 50,000 by the end of the year.
Social enterprise WeFarm has developed a P2P knowledge sharing platform for small-scale farmers in rural communities, which allows farmers to ask questions via SMS shortcodes and receive answers from other registered users.
The startup – which will monetize by selling SMS advertising to large agricultural clients – began life as a pilot project within the United Kingdom (UK)-based Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation (CPF) – but in the summer of last year won £500,000 ($750,000) at the Google Impact challenge, which has been used to scale up the WeFarm platform and make it more robust.
“It is great that we now have more than 22,000 farmers all sharing information through WeFarm. I think that the rate at which WeFarm has grown and how much farmers are using the system shows that there is definitely a need for a service like this and a real gap in the market,” said WeFarm CEO Kenny Ewan.
Ovamba finances key elements of the farming supply chain and off-take agreements with many small farmers growing cash crops and other agricultural commodities. WeFarm is currently planning to launch in Tanzania, and will be launching in Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India and Colombia next year.
“ We very much look forward to working with Wefarm as they expand on a Pan African basis to find ways for our investors to support African agriculture in a way that is beneficial to all.” -Marvin R. R. Cole, founder and CEO of Ovamba Solutions, Inc.