County deepens digitisation of agri-business amid Covid-19
By Jeremy Ogola
The County Government of Nakuru has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to deepen the digitization of its agri-business value chains to transform the business and agricultural sector.
This comes after the county partnered with Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) to roll out a digital concept dubbed Smart Market, which works diligently to help farmers and traders deliver cost-effective leads and sales for their clients while building well recognized and trusted brands.
Once implemented the concept will also help leverage on food quality, safety risks and traceability of production losses.
It will also help to compliment the market Information systems, limited preparedness for health-related emergencies, defects in current market construction and renovations.
Trade, Tourism and Cooperative CECM Mr. Raymond Komen said the idea has come in at the right moment as it will facilitate linkages between value chain actors at much-reduced transaction costs.
He noted that the system will help to decongest the city and facilitate expansion since the County does not have enough land to expand markets within the city.
To begin with, Mr. Komen said the concept will be implemented AT the top Market and Wakulima market in Nakuru town.
Mr. Komen who was speaking during the presentation of the Smart Market concept by the EAGC said the concept will also help to weed out unscrupulous middlemen who exploit small-scale farmers, as it will see farm produce sourced directly to the wholesale thereby maximizing profit for both the farmers and traders.
Agriculture CECM Dr. Immaculate Maina lauded the move saying the concept will move up the agribusiness value chain within the county, to a sector that is modernized, efficient, well-integrated, and can produce higher value-added goods for our local markets and add value along the value chain.
“We need to ensure that cost is not a barrier, that small-scale farmers can adopt and apply the smart market concept and that the content is relevant, localized and actionable,” said Dr. Immaculate.
Nakuru County’s natural endowments give it a comparative advantage in a number of high-value crops such as potatoes, beans, grains, cassava, fruits, and vegetables.
EAGC Executive director Mr. Gerald Masila thanked the county government for incorporating the Smart Market concept in the wake of regeneration of Nakuru County into the city status, saying the concept is expected to play a significant role in enhancing its agri-business activities to meet demand and supply.