A new, award-winning app is empowering small-scale South African farmers by connecting them with supermarkets. Sisipho Skweyiya reports
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (Reuters) – For Owen Malaudzi, life on his small South African farm has recently got easier.
And that’s thanks, he says, to the award-winning Khula app – touted by its founders as an “African solution, to African problems.”
SMALL-SCALE FARMER, OWEN MULAUDZI,
“Khula app, I no longer worry about the transport, I no longer worry about the access to market and then with Khula app, I also, I am in a position to track my records more accurately.”
The aim of the app is to connect small-scale farmers, such as Malaudzi, with supermarkets
– who can order fresh, organic vegetables straight from the ground – and have them delivered to their door.
It was created by entrepreneurs Karidas Tshintsholo and Matthew Piper.
KHULA APP CO-FOUNDER, KARIDAS TSHINTSHOLO,
“We thought if we could find a way to commercialize all those emerging farmers it will have huge implications on employment and basically huge implications on the economic growth of the continent as a whole.”
They say the app allows supermarkets to take a role in empowering farmers.
And, notable clients include Pick n’ Pay, and the Michelangelo Hotel and Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
Through charging a small percentage on each transaction as well as a fee for managing the logistics, Khula has generated half a million rand ($35,700) in its first three months.
Over 600 farmers use the app and the co-founders plan to expand to other parts of the continent, as well as emerging markets such as Brazil and India.