Smallholder farmers, who represent the majority of farmers in Africa, lose much of the value of their crop when they sell it to middleman traders who bring it to market. Women in particular see most of the value disappear in these transactions. To transform this relationship, TruTrade’s smart digital trading platform incentivizes traders to pay top dollar for crops by providing trade finance in return for a fixed commission.
Through this model, farmers get a better price for their crop and receive payment, via mobile money, right when they sell it. TruTrade provides complete transparency on the deal, so farmers know exactly how much each step costs. With a reliable route to market and fair prices for produce, this system increases farmer income and creates opportunity in rural Africa.
- The UN estimates that smallholder farmers account for at least 70 percent of global food production.
- Yet, 93 percent of the world’s 465 million smallholder farming households lack clear value chain relationships with a predetermined buyer for their agricultural outputs.
- Digital value chain finance has the potential to boost smallholder productivity and catalyze more equitable gains in agricultural livelihoods.
- By 2020, expects to move 7,000 tons of produce and earn US $8.5 million in revenue from commissions, profit, and business intelligence
- Seeks an infusion of capital to further scale social impact and commercial viability
TruTrade current partners with:
- Self Help Africa, incubator
- Mercy Corps
- Expertise in digitizing agricultural value chains
- Partnerships with mobile operators in geographical areas of work
- Pro-bono tech development, including coders and service providers
- Mentorship from technical leaders
- Equity investors and lenders familiar with impact investing in agriculture
Fair Wages for Smallholder Farmers
Solver TruTrade, which helps smallholder farmers earn a fair price for their crops, received $100,000 in prize funding from Member Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity in 2019 for winning the Rural Transformation and Zero Hunger Challenge powered by MIT Solve.