Telecommunications company Safaricom grabbed two awards during this year’s Global Mobile Awards (GLOMO).
The company, in general, won the Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry award while its DigiFarm platform won the Best Mobile Innovation for Emerging Markets. The other categories were dominated by other brands with Huawei taking a chunk of the awards home.
The DigiFarm platform provides smallholder farmers with access to a variety of services, including discounted inputs, financing, and advice on best farming practice, all from a 2G enabled mobile phone.
Thanks to a partnership with mobile solutions provider, Mezzanine, DigiFarm offers a text-based service to Kenya’s smallholder farmers. Farmers register on the platform and record details about the size of their farms and the nature of their farming activities.
This information is then used to ensure that farmers receive support relevant to their specific farming activities. Once registered on the platform, farmers have access via mobile phone to a host of agricultural and financial services that the ecosystem offers.
Safaricom’s CEO, Michael Joseph, acknowledged the award as a reflection of the company’s investment towards the DigiFarm platform.
“Through DigiFarm we want to empower millions of smallholder farmers by giving them the right tools for economic growth,” Michael Joseph said.
Over 1 million farmers have subscribed to the platform with more than 300,000 of whom are 30-day active customers. DigiFarm has also opened 144 depots around the country to enable farmer’s access to quality inputs.
Safaricom has also partnered with a couple of other companies to make DigiFarm a success. The company has partnered with iProcure to guarantee access to high-quality inputs, FarmDrive to provide affordable credit, and Arifu to ensure farmers get access to relevant information.
According to the judges Digifarm was recognised for demonstrating very impressive collaboration between stakeholders, demonstrating how relatively simple and, by today’s standard, ‘old’ technology can be used to improve the lives of millions.
Safaricom’s DigiFarm has also bagged several awards in the past. In April 2018, the platform emerged winner of the developing world technology category in Fast Company‘s 2018 World-Changing Ideas Awards and was also recognised as the most innovative service at the inaugural East Africa Com Awards.
DigiFarm also merged top of the Shared Value Category in the Loeries Awards held in Durban, South Africa. The platform was also recognised as best digital agricultural platform in the Digital Inclusions Awards.