ESAFF Uganda Organizes the First ever KilimoMart Online Expo
Women small-scale farmers in particular have little or no knowledge of the current trends in the Uganda's Agriculture market. This is mostly due to the difficulty in accessing information, particularly on market wants and available market prospects.
As middlemen infiltrate farming communities and purchase off their agricultural products at extremely low prices, small-scale farmers in East Africa are constantly targeted by the exploitative markets. The time and money invested in agricultural output by small-scale farmers is not commensurate with this. Due to their restricted access to information and ICT expertise, small-scale farmers are scarcely connected to the market opportunities brought about by market integration.
ESAFF Uganda held the first-ever online KilimoMart Expo from October 16th to October 31st 2022 and aimed at providing opportunities for further market linkages for small scale farmer’s organic products and also a platform to small scale farmers in learning social media marketing. The expo included small scale farmers who provided the organic products for sale, the consumers and the media who supported in marketing and popularizing the expo on Facebook and twitter.
It drew numerous customers from various parts of Kampala. The KilimoMart app included a variety of products that were on sale, including rice and beans from Kasese farmers, millet flour and cassava flour from Adjumani farmers, okra powder and groundnut paste from Gulu farmers, honey from Nebbi farmers, and coffee from the Zombo farmer group. KilimoMart assisted small-scale farmers in adding value to their products through product branding and packaging.
During the expo, Kilimomart exhibited at the first Agroecology Market Systems Expo which was organized by PELUM Uganda at Silver Springs Hotel in Kampala where the public was taken through how the KilimoMart App works and how small scale farmers have benefited from utilizing the App.
The Expo provided various discounts on organically value added products. For those who retweeted first, KilimoMart offered free shipping. Every customer who purchased products received KilimoMart gifts including t-shirts, pens, books, wristbands, and caps. Through the media adverts we managed to reach 3,068 people on twitter and 15,038 people on Facebook.
Kilimomart further identified opportunities for collaborations with different organic traders who showed their interest in working with Kilimomart to sell products from Bees on the Application.
KilimoMart thought of a novel technique to advertise farmers' products, focusing mostly on social media, which has a wider reach especially among the youth. KilimoMart's online expo was enthusiastically received by customers and recommended that it be held annually to give farmers access to extensive knowledge about online marketing.