GreenFingers Mobile (GFM) is a digital smallholder farmer management platform connecting farmers to market and finance. The GFM platform brings transparency and real-time data to all engagements with smallholder farmers, creating digital profiles and credit records for the farmers registered on the platform.
The platform is a productivity platform for Agri SMMEs working with smallholder farmers. The platform has a device-agnostic Progressive Web Application frontend that is utilised by extension agents. The platform works offline which is critical when working with smallholder farmers in rural parts of Africa and the world. The backend provides Agri SMMEs with access to all the aggregated data on a secure backend stored on Google cloud. Agri SMMEs can track real-time activity on the ground, Google Earth image showing the location of the farms, extension agent productivity and work schedules. All of the data captured on the frontend of the platform can be exported from the backend for reporting and decision-making purposes.
GFM was born out of conversations with co-founding company Impact Amplifier, a social impact acceleration business, and Nando's, a multi-national fast-food chicken outlet. Nando's made a strategic shift in their business to buy ABE chili from smallholder farmers in Africa. The challenge they were faced with was that all the Agri SMMEs they approached were utilising pen-and-paper to manage their network of smallholder farmers. Nando's required transparency, real-time data and the ability to track the change of livelihood of the smallholder farmers. Through these conversations, GFM was born and Nando's onboarded our first clients in Malawi and Zimbabwe.
In 2021, GFM are now in 7 markets, including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. There are over 16,000 smallholder farmers registered on the platform. These smallholder farmers have recorded over 66,000 commercial exchanges and received over 17,000 training sessions.
Agri-businesses, a vital SME sector that buys from, capacitate and serve networks of small farmers across the continent for local and export markets, are grossly underserved in many ways. Looking forward GFM are looking to provide finance to their Agri SMME clients and the smallholder farmers registered on the platform. If we look at smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe during the 2019-2020 season, these farmers have an average gross income of $881, with a NETT of $733 and an average cost of inputs at $155 and then considering the over 33 million smallholder farmers in Africa, there are a large number of Agri SMMEs working with smallholder farmers who could benefit from AgriFinance in Africa alone. There is huge potential for scaling this Agrifinance offering on the GFM platform, with the data captured on the smallholder farmers and financing the Agri SMMEs who on-lend to the farmers registered on the platform, we reduce the risk of defaulting on the loan and improve the productivity of the Agri SMMEs and the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers.