Last week I took part (albeit remotely via live video stream) in Pivot25, the first competition and conference for mobile applications developers in East Africa. Pivot25 is an m:lab initiative and in my view the event was a great success and had a real buzz about it. There’s a great blog post about Pivot25 on the White African blog so I’m not going to try and repeat it here. What I did want to talk about though was one of the pitches which receive a lot of interest, but which wasn’t an eventual category winner, and that’s M-Farm.
M-Farm is billed as a market transparency tool for farmers. By simply sending an SMS to a short code, Kenyan farmers can get information about market prices, buy their farm inputs directly from manufacturers at favourable prices, and find buyers for their produce. Although still in start up mode, M-Farm appears to have a bright young team behind it and a concept that has strong alignment with elements of the emerging model for techfortrade.
I’ll be catching up with Jamilla Abass, M-Farm’s co-founder, over the next couple of days and look forward to hearing more about their plans.