Meet Jedida, the founder of Vikara Agrihub, transforming small scale farmers in rural Kilifi.
2022 Governors Startup Challenge Finalist, Jedida Kimanthi is Transforming small scale farmers in Coastal Kenya by equipping them with a technology led agricultural education, inputs and market linkages for improved productivity and steady livelihoods
What is the story behind starting your business/idea?
Having grown in the village my mother and her aunties survived purely by being small scale farmers. The rains were never sufficient and thus rain fed agriculture was never sustainable. My mother and her friends had only one option that worked and that was keeping local chicken. She would sell five to ten chicken every time we needed to go back to school and with that, she would easily get us through high school and college.
Whenever the perennial diseases came most of the chicken would die and my mother was never tired of starting again, and that became the cycle. Years later after I completed my university education, my passion for poultry agriculture came and this time I thought of not only producing for myself but also for the market. However, with the small numbers that I had I could not satisfy the market in terms of number of chickens required. I thus developed the Kuku SACCO business that not only helps my mother but also many other small-scale farmers in my rural village. This has grown tremendously and every day I receive farmers who want to enrol in our program.
What is unique about your business and what service or solution does it offer?
A typical woman in my village keeps between 10 and 15 chicken at any given time owing to the space of their homestead as well as affordability of feeds and medication. With this they are not able to satisfy the market while producing in their silos.
The lack of adequate agricultural education, timely inputs and medication for their chicken is their main undoing in their business. This is made worse by the lack of a promising market for their produce.
My business fills in this gap by providing agriculture education within the poultry space, provision of locally made feeds as well as medication and our core business that lies in linking them with the market through our aggregation model. With this we can reach out to big markets and sustain our supplies year in year out.
All our activities are technology enabled as our mobile app (Vikara AgriApp) helps in pushing agricultural education lessons, management of our SACCO membership, accounting as well as connecting with the market
How does your business help the community around you?
The ability to connect my community to the market is a big plus since now they continue doing their