Smart Development Fund

Farmer power via app: How farmer Nelly Makena increases her income

Climate change and fluctuating market prices are a challenge for smallholder farmer Nelly Makena from Kenya  – a platform for open content is helping her to prepare for it. 
Eine nahe Ansicht eines Bananenbüschels

Nelly Makena and her family have been growing bananas in Kenya for decades. However, climate change and fluctuating market prices are increasingly causing problems for their family business: The otherwise reliable rainfall is insufficient in some years, resulting in fewer bananas. And if Nelly sells her harvest at the wrong time, when the market price is low, part of the already low profit remains with the intermediaries – and little money with Nelly’s family. Because Nelly is convinced that digitalisation can help here, she signed up for the online platform “Sprout”.

The platform allows small farmers to network with each other and form digital cooperatives: They can use Sprout to keep an eye on what is happening on the market and sell their goods together for better prices. Instead of using intermediaries, Nelly can market her harvest directly via the platform – increasing her income by up to 30 per cent. Sprout also gives farmers tips on climate-adapted cultivation methods so banana trees and other plants can cope better with drought. The free Sprout platform has already enabled over 50.000 farmers to market their produce locally – and because Nelly now sells her bananas regionally, she is also making an important contribution to food security in the surrounding communities.  

  1. Over 50,000 smallholder farmers have already been able to sell their products directly via the Sprout app.
  2. The Sprout app has enabled Nelly Makena to increase her income by 30 per cent, making an important contribution to food security in the surrounding communities.