South Africa’s agricultural sector is unique in such a way that it favours industrial farming, unlike in many countries on the continent. However, the recent debate over expropriation of land in South Africa, most of which is used for farming, have sparked discussions about the increase of small-scale farming in the country. Most of the small-scale farmers have challenges with marketing, selling and transporting their produce to supermarkets, unlike industrial farmers. Luckily, a new app is helping them overcome these challenges.
The Khula app, developed by entrepreneurs Karidas Tshintsholo and Matthew Piper, connects rising small-scale farmers with supermarkets in the country. The app enables supermarkets and restaurants to order for fresh produce and organic vegetables from farmers. More than 600 small-scale farmers use the Khula app, with some of them affirming the growth it has produced in their farming business.
“Khula app, I no longer worry about the transport, I no longer worry about the access to market and then with Khula app, I also, I am in a position to track my records more accurately,” 29-year-old Owen Mulaudzi told Africanews.
Famous clients of farmers registered on the Khula app include Pick n Pay, South Africa’s second largest supermarket chain store, 5-star Michelangelo hotel, and Sandton Convention Centre, one of the largest convention centers on the continent.
The creators of the app believe they are creating African solutions to solve African problems, and already have plans to expand to larger agricultural markets in Brazil and India. The Khula app makes its money by charging a small percentage from the transaction between the farmers and the clients, as well as a fee for logistics. It has generated a revenue of about 500,000 rands in its first 3 months of existence.
It is estimated that 1 million jobs could be created if the expected land reforms are re-aligned to focus on giving farming lands to small-scale farmers in South Africa. This would allow the farmers to be instrumental to the country’s efforts towards food security.