Bidco, Safaricom come in aid of 750 former Tobacco farmers with Sunflower and Soya beans


By MN Reporter

Bidco Oil and Safaricom have partnered with the Migori County to promote sunflower and soya beans farming among 750 farmers in Suna West and Nyatike sub-counties.

Safaricom, through its initiative dubbed Digi-farm, will provide technical support n payment and information while Bidco will offer ready market.

It will help in producing edible oils and soaps.

Representatives of the two firms yesterday met county officials to launch the programme.

Elizabeth Mudogo, an officer from Safaricom’s M-agriculture department, said the programme targets smallholder farmers and it involves issuing out of the key inputs to farmers and then deducting the cost of the inputs from payments after successful harvests.

“What we are doing as Digi-farm is to provide service to simple smallholder farmer. We are interested in ensuring the farmer is able to make money from farming,” said Mudogo.

“Migori is one of the pilot counties and we are targeting to help soya beans and sunflower farmers. We provide an end-to end-service delivery to the farmers,” Bidco officer John Kariuki said.

County Agriculture executive Isca Oluoch said they will move the project to Kuria East and Kuria West where tobacco farming was a major cash crop.

“Sunflower and Soya beans will form a new cash crop which will be an alternative to tobacco farming it has challenges which has reft out farmers desperate,” Oluoch said.

She added that “the profit margin will be good, enough and there is insurance cover.”

Migori farmers appreciated the new project through farmer Polycarp Ndege who said availability of input and instant payment has been positive.