To become part of the network, farmers sign up for a Selina account either on the Selina Web-based platform named Growersoft or on mobile phone via USSD.
The system captures information relating to the geographical locations of small scale farmers, what they are producing, the various stages of progress throughout the season, harvest timelines, projections and actual volumes at harvest.
This information makes it easy to estimate expected volumes in a year for different produce, which then enables buyers around the world to plan in advance.
It also means that a small scale farmer has the market secured by the time they harvest.
The system streamlines the sourcing process, making it faster and less expensive with digitised traceability.
Buyers, on the other hand, specify what they want and are guaranteed consistent quality, fair price and volumes.
Gathering market data has also assisted the company understand market dynamics allowing it to make reliable projections and avoiding uncertainties along the entire chain that would affect farmer earnings.
“We noticed that our Hass avocados, which are very popular in the European market gain roughly 60 grammes or so every week while on the tree after onset of the season and a delay in harvesting by three weeks leads to a larger fruit that better meets market requirements.”
“Since it is slightly bigger with a higher percentage oil content, and enters the market when the avocado season in Spain’s province of Malaga has just ended, leading to a very good market reception”, said Mr Samuel Wanyoike, the company’s head of production.
The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) in a recent brief urged the government to train farmers on technology-led appropriate farming methods.
It called for promotion of commercialisation and value addition to boost productivity and develop the sector.