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Tuesday, 05 April 2016

How one woman is helping some farmers in Kenya create a path out of poverty

It’s hard to believe that a woman from a pastoral family in remote northeastern Kenya could grow up to be the CEO of one of her country’s most successful social enterprises. But entrepreneurship was always a passion for Jamila Abass. As a child, she tended a small vegetable patch, selling the produce to neighbors to make extra income for their family. But her dreams were always much bigger. “I grew up in a situation where having one meal on the table, you were counted lucky,” Jamila says. “I also grew up knowing that life shouldn’t be this way.” Years later, this experience would motivate Jamila to start M-Farm, a female-led company that connects farmers to markets and each other, giving them price information over their mobile phones and the ability to organize. This is helping them move from subsistence agriculture to commercial farming, creating a path out of poverty. Close to 70 percent of Kenyans work in agriculture. But without information about how much crops are selling for from day to day, they’re often exploited by middlemen (...) The first 686 farmers using the M-Farm platform saw, on average, a 100 percent increase in their profits. There are now 14,000 farmers using M-Farm in Kenya and organizations across the continent are interested in partnering with them.
Source: one.org