ALIN Awarded 2011 Access to Learning Award by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

James Nguo, ALIN Regional Director, rejoices after the announcement in San Juan, Puerto Rico by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Photo: © BMGF

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Friday, August 30, 2013

SMS 20245:SOKOPEPE Marketing portal Unveiled

A project that has been piloted for 2 years in Laikiapia county by an international NGO, the Arid Lands Information Network (ALIN) is now unveiled for use in the entire country - Kenya.

The project that aims to empower farmers to increase efficiency and access the best markets for maximum returns has been launched.
Dubbed Sokopepe — Kiswahili for virtual market — the initiative is an agricultural commodity trading platform that will link small-scale producers to final retailers or bulk purchasers.
Some of the services that are being provided include commodity prices, farm inputs, linkage with other service providers, and farming and livestock tips as well as secure mobile payment systems.
Speaking at its launch last week, the ALIN regional director, Mr James Nguo, encouraged farmers to join the platform by registering through a mobile short code.
“Sokopepe is accessible online and on mobile phone. Most transactions on Sokopepe can be completed on a basic mobile telephone handset, making it accessible to farmers in remote regions. We are, therefore, encouraging farmers and agro-pastoralists to register with Sokopepe,” said Mr Nguo.
He said the system enables farmers to earn more by connecting them directly to buyers, thus eliminating middlemen.

Joyce Mawia a champion farmer who represented kyuso community at the launch of Sokopepe projected said that from look of things Sokopepe will help many farmers  to access market information for a wise market decision.

"After sharing with other farmers representatives from other six Maarifa centres in Kenya, i realized that every region has commodities that does well in that area" said Mawia, "In Kyuso, sokopepe will enable us to market green grams and Gadam sorghum that does well in the area. Fodders such as acacia pods is also available."
She added that if farmers from the largest irrigation scheme in Tseikuru sub-county of Kitui district under Kalonzo Musyoka Faundation, Red Cross and other stakeholders can also benefit from sokopepe if at all they register.
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