[Startup Interview] Samuel Munguti, CEO, Farmers Pride, Kenya
At a time when smallholder farmers across Africa, who form the bulk of the food producers, are struggling with access to key agricultural inputs including fertilizer and seeds, Farmers Pride, based in Kenya has rolled out an elaborate plan to address these biting challenges.
Working with over 100,000 rural farmers and 300 agro dealers, the company is making sure that farmers get quality inputs, services and information conveniently and at the right time. The company’s CEO Samuel Munguti explains.
Tell us a bit about your company
Farmers Pride currently operating in Kenya is increasing productivity of rural farmers through a network of agro-vet franchises that provide farmers with affordable and high quality agricultural inputs, services like soil testing and insurance as well as information through elaborate tailor made training programs and extension.
To help unlock potential of smallholder farmers and potential of agro dealers, Farmers Pride relies on multi-pronged approach through a powerful platform, agro-vet franchise.
Through Farmers Pride network of branded and professionally managed agro-vet franchises farmers and agro-vet business are linked to farmer field extension and education services, quality agricultural inputs , financial services, soil testing services and farmer insurance services to offer a reinforced platform for rural social and economic development. Farmers Pride is leveraging on professionalizing agro dealers and farmers to build a sustainable enterprise.
Where is the company located?
Farmers Pride head office is located in Nairobi, Kenya
When was it founded and by who?
Farmers Pride was founded in 2014 by Samuel Munguti-a social entrepreneur passionate to see more prosperous rural farmers and agro dealers.
How is the company funded?
With current central business costs (staffing, logistics, marketing, etc.) currently funded through founder capital, sales revenue and grants, full cost recovery will be achieved when the business has 20 fully operational franchise outlets – this is anticipated in Q3 2018.
What are your company’s unique selling points?
Farmers Pride commercially distributes quality farm inputs i.e. Fertilizer, Animal feeds, Seeds, farm tools and agro-chemicals with bundled farmer extension, farmer training and other services like soil testing and insurance through a modern customer focused franchise and partner agro dealer network of agro dealers. Farmers Pride builds and manages relationships with leading agricultural inputs suppliers and manufacturers to secure access to these quality products and services for agro dealers and smallholder farmers.
Farmers Pride builds a pool of qualified personnel where franchises can recruit from and then identifies local agro dealer entrepreneurs in rural markets and these partner shops are staffed with trained agronomists and livestock specialists, Moreover, these shops become the center point for a range of extension, training and awareness creation activities including farmer clinics, product promotions and other forms of farmer extension services.
Farmers Pride is building an ecosystem that enables other innovative products and services use Farmers Pride platform interface as a medium to provide their already created products and services like insurance and soil testing to rural farmers.
How has the market responded to your products?
Since inception Farmers Pride has grown to 4 fully franchised outlets and another 300 agro dealers at different conversion stages spread across Eastern & central Kenya servicing over 10,000 rural farmers with quality inputs, services and information. 20 products distribution agreements with certified inputs manufacturers have also been signed so far.
Who are your clients?
Our customers are rural farmers and agro dealers
What are the ambitions of the company going forward?
Farmers Pride aims to have countrywide network of 150 franchise outlets across Kenya in the next 5 years and later expand to other Africa countries. Farmers pride will spare no effort in ensuring that it builds a successful social enterprise and brand committed to delivery of the highest possible quality and trusted products and services to smallholder farmers.
What does your company need to grow and prosper?
We are currently fundraising to take farmers Pride solution to more and more communities across Kenya and Africa. Our target is to raise $600,000.This will help Framers Pride expand to 50 fully franchised stores and 1000 associate agro dealers. That is all we need to break even and become commercially sustainable.
What is the latest news?
Farmers Pride model has gotten numerous media mentions in recent months. Farmers Pride has been featured in latest Dalberg intelligence/Rockefeller Foundation Agribusiness Africa Quarterly VOL10 for unique contribution to agribusiness landscape in Africa. We have also been featured in Tech-Moran, Seedstars World and Africa Development Bank news for contribution towards increasing farmer productivity in Kenya.
Early this year, the firm introduced the Youth Agent Network Model, a commission-based agent model which engages recent graduates in agriculture. The company is collaborating with Mavuno Fertilizer and has so far sold over 200 tonnes of fertilizer and 250 tonnes of animal feed. In July 2017, Farmer’s Pride launched the Daktaripap App, a mobile application and USSD system which connects farmers to local vets, agronomists, financial and insurance service providers.
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