Digital records keeping and access to finance for young farmers in Kenya

FarmDrive is excited to partner with the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA) to build the capacity of Kenyan young farmers and stakeholders and to support them to access finance.

In Africa, young farmers face many hurdles in trying to earn a livelihood from agriculture. Lack of access to capital, among others, is a major challenge that most young farmers face. Nonetheless, agribusiness can be profitable for youth with the right capital and skills.

In partnership with CTA, FarmDrive will organise 20 mobile training sessions dubbed “Apps4Ag Learning Opportunities”. These sessions will help young farmers learn how to use FarmDrive’s financial management tool to keep records of their farming activities, receive agronomic recommendations, and benefit from mobile money payments, access to loans and other digital financial services. The workshops will be held across different regions in Kenya. They will provide hands-on experience to a total of 500 young farmers and other agricultural stakeholders. FarmDrive will create comprehensive credit profiles for the young farmers who can then apply and eventually receive credit from lending partners through their mobile phones.

FarmDrive is a technology platform with a suite of applications aimed at increasing the availability of capital to smallholder farmers. The Apps4Ag Learning Opportunity will also help the FarmDrive application, which was developed through the CTA’s AgriHack initiative in East Africa, to gather knowledge that will help for consolidation of its business model.

Successful initial workshop

The first workshop took place on the 12th of February at Manga Village Social Hall in Borabu County; Kisii Region. This one-day session was attended by 29 young farmers, the district agronomist, Borabu village elders and 3 successful farmers from the community who came to share their experience; some of whom have been able to access credit through FarmDrive’s technology. The participants were all trained to register to the FarmDrive platform on their mobile phones and to start keeping records of their current farming activities.

Most of the youth admitted to not keeping proper records of their farming activities. This means they don’t know if or how they are making profits/losses from their farming activities. They are not even aware which farming activities are most viable in their area.

The young farmers were delighted at the prospect of being able to apply for loans and receive the loan via mobile phones. Even more interesting, they were excited to hear that using their records, they are able to get access to favourable loan terms that correlate with their farming activities. Further, the credit is coupled with insurance to mitigate risks.

Cleophas Onyiego, one of the youth farmers contributed that “Most of us are afraid to take loans because we are scared that we’ll lose our property like motorbikes to banks if the crops fail. For some of us, we don’t own any land, it belongs to our parents therefore we don’t have collateral that the banks want. With FarmDrive’s solution, our village have the potential to grow and we can supply food to the growing world population.” The enthusiasm and curiosity of the participants was palatable as they all tried out the technology to gauge its possible impact on their activities.

FarmDrive is proud to partner with CTA on this project and looks forward to support CTA’s efforts to ensure the uptake, utilization and up-scaling of innovative and tested apps for agriculture among end-users, especially the youth. This activity also falls within the framework of activities of CTA’s Agriculture, Rural development and youth in the Information Society (ARDYIS) project.

More information:

To learn more about the initiative, contact or visit us at FarmDrive Follow us on twitter @farmdriveke

Previous CTA’s Apps4Ag Learning Opportunity:

CTA’s AgriHack and ARDYIS initiatives: ;

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