“esoko started in 2005 as an experiment to see how the emergence of mobile technology in Africa, could improve the lives of rural communities across the continent.
Enabling the delivery of market prices via SMS, in support of work that FoodNet was doing with MTN in Uganda, “esoko established its core purpose of IMPROVING THE LIVES OF THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID THROUGH MOBILE INNOVATION. Having set up call centres to support local languages and address issues with literacy, “esoko realized farmers needed much more than price information, and added weather alerts, crop advice, and linking buyers with sellers. Various research finds such services can improve incomes for farmers by roughly 10%.
The company leverages on its technical platform and field force for the collection of information, mostly using tablet devices and smartphones. “esoko provides smallholders with access to inputs and finance through our virtual marketplace, while driving business for input dealers and financial service providers.
As a growing social business, “esoko is committed to reinvesting the majority of its returns into the business, to scale quickly and maximise its impact on rural communities in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
The company has evolved over the years but remains committed to improving income for rural communities by empowering them – and the businesses that serve them – through mobile technology. Using esoko’s virtual platform known as Tulaa, input suppliers, financial institutions and farmers get what they want when they need it.
These 4 reasons are how “esoko is improving rural lives of people in agriculture and its value chain in Africa.
1. Input suppliers are able to aggregate demand for inputs among smallholders, increase sales to smallholder farmers via the m-commerce platform, and build brand and customer loyalty.
2. Financial institutions are able to increase loan portfolio among smallholder farmers, lower risk through partnerships with agribusinesses on the platform and access valuable data for credible risk assessment.
3. NGOs & Co-Operatives are able to empower farmers with access to inputs and finance, support farmers to plan better and increase yields, and enable fast and secure payments to farmers via mobile money.
4. Agriprocessors can safely outsource input supply to farmers, enable fast and secure payments to farmers via mobile money and build loyalty among their smallholder suppliers.