Twiga Foods eyes new African markets

Kenyan-based agritech firm that uses blockchain, Twiga Foods plans to expand to the East and West African regions early next year.

The company, which has been mainly operating in Kenya, is setting its sights on Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana.

The expansion seeks to provide access to affordable and quality food products across African cities, said the firm’s chief growth officer, Stephen Ananda.   

“We are considering East and West Africa expansion early next year,” Mr Ananda said.

The firm, which runs a mobile phone platform that sells bananas and other produce from small-scale farmers to local vendors and markets, has been expanding within the Kenyan borders. It is now planning to venture out as it seeks a bigger pie of the African market.

In Kenya, the firm operates in Uasin Gishu, Embu, Meru, Kirinyaga, Machakos and Kiambu counties.  It plans to take its services to Nakuru County this week.

The company which was established in 2014, has so far sold 200 million bananas through its mobile-based platform. It has also diversified its offerings to include other food items such as vegetables.

Thanks to its rapid success in changing the lives of farmers, Twiga has attracted billions of shillings in funding comprising equity and loans from international investors such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The company’s forte is offering growers improved earnings and delivering the commodities to consumers within a day.

IFC has spoken highly of the firm, saying it is transforming the lives of farmers.

“Over 13,000 farmers and 6,000 vendors in Kenya now work with Twiga —which pays 20 to 40 percent more than brokers and farmer groups, and delivers payment in full within 24 hours through mobile money transactions. This helps farmers anticipate income and aids in financial planning,” IFC said, noting that smooth logistics system reduces Twiga’s post-harvest losses to under 5 percent, compared with 30 percent at informal markets, where farmers typically sell produce.