Countries in the Sub-saharan region of Africa appears to have the lowest prices in absolute terms, making African food products more affordable to European consumers, however, do African consumer enjoy the same benefit?
With the abundance of agricultural produce on the continent, there still appears to challenge food supply chain in Africa, however, Kenyan Startup, Farmula is changing this narrative by building a digital backbone for the food supply chains in Africa.
The founders all met at the MEST entrepreneurship program in Ghana and at a point during the program, a conversation around which African country had the most affordable and good quality food ensued.
The founders shared pros and cons about the food industry on the African continent while they kept on seeking information to understand what were the underlying factors in agriculture, the opportunities, the risks and what can be done to innovate the food sector.
As a diverse team of individuals coming from different parts of Africa, the founders understood these common challenges from different perspectives and came up with solid assumptions.
They tested their theory in Ghana by carrying out feasibility studies, a development that led to an official commencement of Farmula’s operations in November 2019.
In this space, Farmula is trying to move off a very asset-heavy model to an asset-light one by changing the focus from being a supply to a demand-driven company.
“We have been operating with mini-distribution centers who house inventory and are close to the customers.”
At Farmula, farmers earn more while buyers spend less.
This is achieved by making pricing more transparent for farmers and provide buyers with access to farmers who have the produce they want.
Farmula is the answer to increased revenues for farmers and fewer costs for buyers.
“We understand the problem in a way that no one else does and we use technology to deliver value every single time.”
How Farmula deploys technology
Farmula’s main aim is to digitize the primary operation of key players across the food supply chain by building software tools.
As explained by Farmula, the B2B supply chain is operated manually and as the population grows, supply chain dependencies become more fragile.
“Our objective is to connect the fragmented pieces of the B2B food supply chain under one platform.
Our Vision is to be the number one software service for traditional players across the food supply chain.”
In all Farmula’s operations, each and every stop across the food supply chain is a data point. It is either a loss or a gain depending on who is championing the chain.
“We wanted to capture all this data and for the longest time, it has been captured manually which makes it hard to make the right decisions effectively.
For all purchases, sales, logistics are now captured under one platform. We assist our customers to keep in touch with multiple subs and main distributors for inventory restocks.
Data of the frequency of purchase, money spent in every purchase are recorded and this opens more avenues of credit access to our customers.”
In these 3 steps, Farmula deploys its service
Post your demand
Buyers post demand by simply posting on Farmula’s website, calling order numbers, and sending a message via text or WhatsApp or dialing the company’s shortcode.
Get matched to supply
Buyers are matched to affordable produce of great quality and the order is confirmed.
According to the website, your produce is delivered under 24 hours
Distro is an inventory management platform that makes it easy for Farmula’s distribution centers to manage their inventory.
These distro’s can issue SMS-based receipts, do easy inventory reconciliation, and understand inventory performance on a modular level.
It also gives Farmula real-time inventory information across board, thereby allowing its retailers access to the stock they need.
With this Farmula combine off and online by utilizing a distinct distribution design with its proprietary tech.
These distribution designs provide the framework for how each location operates, what they stock up and where they are located.
Deploying the solution for your service offers you the following benefits:
Farmula offers you prices from various markets daily so you can choose the most affordable.
Banking on the company’s existing partnerships with transport companies, Farmula makes it possible for you to purchase produce from the farm without having to go to the farm.
You may not have to wait for food prices to skyrocket and thus affect your purchases, Farmula can tell you what the price would be tomorrow.
At times, you normally have to check quality at the market or deal with losses when bad quality produce comes to you.
Farmula saves you the hassle by ensuring your produce achieves high quality always.
Featured Image: Farmula Team Members
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