Africa’s smallholder farmers are still losing countless millions due to post-harvest losses. Among the simplest fixes to this problem are reliable storage, on the one hand; and links to a wider pool of prospective buyers on the other.
SokoFresh’s CEO Denis Karema commented on this situation: “50% of all horticulture produce in Kenya fails to make it to market as a result of an informal and unreliable supply chains. Farmers frequently lose quality produce due to their inability to store it for longer than a day. As a result, they earn less, logistics costs are high, and vast quantities of food are wasted.”
“If produce is managed well from harvest to aggregation, then farmers have enough time to find better buyers or negotiate for better prices or even access international markets for their produce,” he added.
Founded in 2019, the Nairobi-based startup offers farm-level cold storage as a service, plus a digital market linkage platform, aimed at better integrating small- and medium-scale farmers into the commercial food value chain. Its mobile cold storage solution is based on a ‘pay-as-you-store’ business model, giving farmers, traders, and exporters an opportunity to preserve the quality of produce and increase their bottom lines.