Tanzanian Government Praises Vodacom's Kilimo Klub Innovation

The government has commended Vodacom Tanzania for coming up with mobile innovative solution that will see smallholder farmers receiving support to improve their lives through Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

The initiative dubbed Kilimo Klub, is an exclusive service targeting smallholder farmers and will enable farmers to access M-Pesa and get empowered financially through the use of M-Pawa, which provides access to the safest and most convenient banking services giving them access to savings and loans facilities.

Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperative Godfrey Zambi told reporters shortly after opening one day Kilimo Klub Summit organized by Vodacom in Dar es Salaam at the weekend that, with increasing rate of mobile penetration the initiative is a big push to small holder farmers in rural areas.

The Deputy Minister said, “We need more small hold farmers and agriculture business that are an essential part of the value chain contributing to increased production and increase income.

Most of these small hold farmers lack knowledge and access to the market, have limited business skills, lack financing or collateral and are competing at a very low margins due to lack of storage facilities and high transport costs.

This is the dilemma we must address and believe that mobile technology is well placed to help us succeed in this area. The infrastructure is already in place country-wide and the number of people with access to cell phones and mobile technology is significant and growing,”

He added “We need innovative solutions to transform the sector and we look to the private sector to provide value propositions that can especially facilitate small hold farmers’ entry into the broader market and we real appreciate this initiative by Vodacom,”

With coverage reaching 90 per cent of Tanzanians, Vodacom Managing Director Rene Meza said the corporate’s key component of rural coverage strategy was focusing on the farming community through Kilimo Klub.

Rene said, “This is a proposition, which as the name suggests, that aims to assist farmers in Tanzania to access vital services such as credit, market prices as well as linking them to the wider farming community in the country through their phones! We believe it greatly augments the Kilimo Kwanza initiative and that it will allow a lot more farmers to be visible in the economic arena through the gradual elimination of, in some instances, middle men who do not have the interests of the farmers at heart.

Kilimo Klub is the partnership of Vodacom Tanzania, Olam International, Connected Farmers Alliance and Techno Serve aimed at improving farmers’ productivity.