Agriculture plays a vital role in the Kenyan economy with three out of four Kenyans making a living in farming. However, inefficient communication and weak logistics between farmers and produce vendors result in staggering food loss, which represents an estimated 30 to 40 percent of the country’s food. These fragmented systems also prevent many farmers from efficiently reaching and selling their produce in formal markets.
Solution and Impact
Twiga, a six-year-old small business supported by $5 million in DFC financing, is working to build a stronger and more efficient food distribution system across Kenya. The company travels to farms in rural and often difficult-to-reach regions of the country to buy bananas, tomatoes, onions, and other produce. Twiga’s digital platform has connected 17,000 producers to 8,000 vendors to sell their goods in Nairobi. The business is also investing in cold storage to preserve food and in training to educate farmers on best practices for harvesting and packaging produce. By offering a convenient and reliable solution to challenges faced by farmers and vendors alike, Twiga is helping reduce food wastage and retail food prices while increasing incomes.
Twiga is one of the many projects DFC supports through its Portfolio for Impact and Innovation (PI2) initiative, which invests in early-stage projects that promise a far-reaching positive impact on many of the world’s most underserved communities. The project also advances DFC’s 2X Women’s Initiative by connecting female farmers, who make up nearly half of the agricultural labor force in many African countries, with formal markets and empowering a network of mostly female produce vendors to increase sales and profits.