There are many different approaches and practices when it comes to farming, but one thing is constant - to run your farm as a business, you need to be able to sell your product. To sell their product, a farmer or rancher needs to be visible to buyers and buyers need to have an easy way to reach producers.
This was the one of the problems USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service encountered in West Africa and East Africa. Throughout the regions smallholder farmers and buyers have struggled to match and get goods sold, resulting in food waste and lost opportunities for small farming communities.
To help solve this market problem, FAS turned to an innovative US-based technology company called Agromovil whose agtech platform helps buyers and sellers connect. Starting in October 2022, FAS provided funding through the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana), enabling Agromovil to launch a pilot of their app with sorghum producers. FAS also has worked with Agromovil in Tanzania, where the company was paired with the Tanzanian Horticultural Association (TAHA) to work with the onion and avocado producers and buyers. This project was funded by USAID and Tanzania.
This new tool received great feedback from farmers in Ghana and Tanzania. “Sometimes when we harvest, we struggle to sell our produce. The Agromovil App helps us see buyers from different places and make sure our products are sold,” said Bindaw Ramani Musah, a Ghanaian farmer and user of the Agromovil App.
“I am happy now I have been registered into the App. I would recommend to my fellow avocado producers to register as long as they have the avocado trees. Also, I call upon my fellow parents who are new to technology not to be afraid. It is simple. Ask your children to help you register, even they can do it,” added Frank Mbiwilo, a farmer from Tanzania who is a user of the app.
This approach is providing significant benefits to the agriculture industries in Ghana and Tanzania. The app provides visibility which helps for example, farmers be more efficient and connect directly with buyers resulting in increased producer incomes. This growth in farmer income will also help spur growth in agricultural trade.
In addition, while women farmers do much of the work of African agriculture, we know that they often receive less than men for their products. Agromovil can help serve as an equalizer, providing all users with equal access to buyers and giving women-owned farmers a better opportunity to succeed in agribusiness.
Since the full launch of Agromovil in both countries in 2022, more than 1,600 farmers and buyers have signed up, resulting in more than $3.5 million of agricultural sales. More than half of the farmers who are using the app are young farmers and women farmers, strengthening diversity and establishing a stronger new generation of farmers in both African nations.