Kilimo Fresh leverages mobile technology to give farmers fair prices and market access

Kilimo Fresh photo

Photo by Kilimo Fresh

Kilimo Fresh leverages mobile technology to give farmers fair prices and market access

In Tanzania, where agriculture is the primary livelihood source for 75% of the population, farmers face challenges in the form of sub-optimal yields, unfair market returns and food losses and waste. Indeed, 48% of food produced in Tanzania goes to waste before reaching the market, equivalent to USD 4 billion every year. This happens as a result of poor storage facilities, lack of access to market and poor transport and handling.

Kilimo Fresh sources agricultural products from local farmers and delivers them to buyers in urban areas. The company aims to increase smallholder farmers' income and to contribute to reducing food waste in Tanzania, by leveraging mobile technology and by efficiently managing cold chain logistics. Kilimo Fresh has recently expanded its services to informal street fruits and vegetables vendors. Informal vendors in Dar es Salaam purchase their fresh produce from the public market early in the morning and push their cart to their business locations.

Kilimo Fresh sources produce from the smallholder farmers and delivers directly to street vendors’ locations, saving the latter time and money. The company is currently working with over 1,200 vendors, 38% of which are women vendors. Kilimo Fresh empowers people at the bottom of the pyramid, both as customers and farmers. To date, the company has enabled: Direct access to the local market to 1,000 smallholder farmers across 3 regions in Tanzania, 40% of which are women; stable supply of fruits and vegetable to 1,200 street vendors, 38% of which are women; fairer price paid to smallholder farmers (approximately 20% higher than middlemen usually pay).

Kilimo Fresh’s primary target market includes hotels, restaurants, catering companies, schools, and street vendors. The entire market segment of hotels alone consists of more than 2,000 reputable hotels in coastal areas with an average annual consumption of USD 50,000 of farm produce. There are more than 2,500 reputable retail stores and 15,000 informal fruits and vegetable vendors in Dar es Salaam alone. Kilimo Fresh plans to expand its market reach to informal street vendors of fruits and vegetable in Dar es Salaam. Currently supplying to 1,200 of them, Kilimo Fresh is targeting to supply the entire target market in the city. The company also plans to diversify the product range from potatoes to two additional products: ripe bananas and tomatoes. This expansion is expected to generate 500 indirect jobs, 55% of which for women,  to finance such expansion, Kilimo is looking to raise USD 1,500,000.

Kilimo Fresh is one of the finalists of UNDP’s 2022 Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) in Tanzania, in the Food and Agriculture sector. The GSIV takes the Tanzania SDG Investor Map one step further by identifying through a highly competitive process enterprises in Tanzania that have developed at-scale products and services that contribute to the SDGs while achieving commercial success and are committed to embed impact considerations into decision-making. By showcasing and supporting these ventures, UNDP aims to bring forward evidence of the existence of pipelines of investable ventures that can advance the transition to SDG-aligned investment in Tanzania.

Direct ImpactDescribes the primary SDG(s) the IOA addresses.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9)
Zero Hunger (SDG 2)
Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12)
SectorsMost major industry classification systems use sources of revenue as their basis for classifying companies into specific sectors, subsectors and industries. In order to group like companies based on their sustainability-related risks and opportunities, SASB created the Sustainable Industry Classification System® (SICS®) and the classification of sectors, subsectors and industries in the SDG Investor Platform is based on SICS.