Eugene Torero, Director Trade Policy and Facilitation, TradeMark East Africa
SMEs play a critical role in terms of production, employment generation, contribution to trade growth & facilitating equitable distribution of income. Irrespective of their role, they continue to face challenges of accessing market information. For agricultural small holders they are challenged by accessing information to best practices, weather information and opportunities to negotiate better prices due to literacy. In addressing these challenges, they are embracing use of technology such as iShamba in accessing quality agricultural information including market prices through use of mobile phones/telephony. Such information helps improve their bargaining power by providing timely information on the use of and purchase of inputs. Participating farmers are currently benefiting from 'special offers' and 'discounts' from agri‑product suppliers who are keen to use iShamba as a direct channel to new customers. The session will explore how gains of such initiative are beneficial to everyone involved in the supply chain.