A survey conducted by Farm Concern International (FCI) targeting 2,390 smallholder farmers who are on the AFMAX (African Farms and Markets Exchange) pilot phase has established that farmers in Africa have potential to save millions of hours spent travelling as well as millions of dollars.
The E-Women AFMA-X is a mobile phone based innovation developed by FCI. The innovation aims to reduce labor and time spent by smallholder women farmers in accessing quality farm inputs, services and market information with minimal mobility.
The survey conducted established that 77.8% of these farmers covered 10 km round trip on average to purchase farm inputs from the nearest shopping center, see Figure 1. Assuming that farmers visit the shopping center once a week, this implies that the total distance covered by these farmers is 77.8/100 × 2390 x 10km) × 8 × 2 months = 297,507 km. If the AFMA-X initiative is scaled up in Africa and reaches one million smallholder farmers, it means that the total distance that they will save is 124.48 Million kilometers.
Additionally, 63% of farmers surveyed use an average Kshs 100 (USD 1.2) for a round trip to the market to obtain farm inputs (Figure 2). If this trip is made once a week, the cost will tally up to Kshs 1.5 million (USD 14,171) for the two months that the farmers are actively sourcing for farm inputs in a year. If this is scaled up to 1 million farmers, the saving will amount to Kshs 504 Million (USD 5.9Million).
FCI has been implementing the pilot phase of this innovation in 10 commercial villages in Central and Eastern Kenya targeting 5,000 smallholder farmers. Upon conclusion of the pilot phase, it is expected that AFMA-X will be scaled up in order to reach more smallholder farmers in Africa.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond