We spent the last one-month defining and discussing what success really meant to us as a startup and as actors in enabling of the agribusiness value chain. We took a time from 2016 to now and looked critically at our trend and our first stop was the feedback section on our website. We had set out way back in 2016 with the sole aim of building farmers capacities through peer and practical farm visits. The objective however evolved and we found ourselves referring many farmers to sources of farming inputs and services such as pumps, seedlings, drip irrigation kits, soil-testing labs among others, to trusted suppliers in our network. It was in this one month of reflection that we realized that over the short time that we had been active, we were making an impact in the agribusiness chain despite all the challenges in the sector.
We noticed a specific case of Grace Rock farm in Rironi, Limuru, Kenya. We had entered into a collaboration deal in 2017 march to refer farmers who needed vegetable seedlings to their farm. We had done a background check and visited her farm in Rironi to ensure that any farmer who we referred there got quality seedlings. This was vital for our image as a startup, remained key, and was in line with our foundational standards. The owner of the farm, which was in its early stages of its development signed up for advertising space on our site and did an article with us, which we published. Our automated system also sent feedback from this article directly to her and she could then respond to her clients. Over the past one year, she managed to get referrals to over 100 high valued clients directly through us, who were interested in purchasing her seedlings. This translates to two high valued clients per week on average. Furthermore, the exposure on our website and services led to media interest (see here) in her farm and products thus exponentially increasing her sales from her agribusiness venture and visibility.
This action is definitely not the only reason that that increased her sales but it played a major role in developing leads for her products. We appreciated the owners understanding that it would take time to get the clients but the value of clients that she would get eventually would be worth the investment.
Partnerships as key in agribusiness
From the onset, as a startup, we never believed in super immediate returns and wanted clients whom we could form a society. Therefore, this case is an inspiration to us because we added a family member. We want more mutual partnerships such as this in order to develop each other in this sector since the more we live in our own cocoons is the more vulnerable we become to failing in our endeavors in the whole agribusiness chain.
Would you like to partner with us? We would like to hear your ideas below: