KMT has started an engagement with New Downtown (Farm Inputs Distributor based in Embu) to roll out an agrodealer support system. This will aim at supporting the agro-dealers to adopt a customer – oriented business model that will enable them serve farmers better. The model will involve equipping the agro-dealers with skills in customer service, improved Internal Business Management, and adoption of Branding and Marketing.
New Downtown supplies to over 500 stockists in the central part of the country and has an engagement with key large scale inputs manufacturers as a distributor. Through this partnership, over 250 (50%) stockists are expected to adopt new ways of doing business and about 125,000 farmers are anticipated to be beneficiaries of improved access of quality inputs and services that will lead to an increase in productivity.
To kick-start the programme, KMT facilitated a series of workshops in Embu, Mwea, Kagio and Kerugoya bringing together New Downtown and their key stockists. The workshops were made to lay ground for linkages with service providers and training opportunities, as well as explore ways of strengthening the business relationship with the agrodealers. In addition, the workshops focused on supplementary services such as soil testing and adoption of inputs pre-payment system that the agrodealers could provide in order to improve their service delivery to farmers.
Also present during the workshops was Elgon Kenya, one of the top agrochemical companies in Kenya, who is engaging with KMT on strategies to unlock inputs financing. A key area of discussion is a pilot that will encourage goal/commitment saving both at the farmer and at the agrodealer level. The savings will enable farmers to pre-pay for agri-inputs, as well as help to unlock the cash-flow problem that most agrodealers face during peak seasons. This way, farmers are guaranteed of receiving quality inputs in good time.
KMT, Elgon Kenya and New Downtown will follow up with interested agrodealers inorder to actualize this plan.