- Sector: Agriculture
- Country of operations: Kenya
From field to fork
Selina Wamucii was set up to connect Kenyan smallholders with customers, both locally and overseas. The company offers buyers consistent quality while giving farmers fair pricing and a guaranteed market for their fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.
Technology lies at the heart of its approach, with a mobile phone-based platform used to shorten the supply chain and manage the relationship with growers. However, farmers do not need to have a smartphone or even access to the internet – they can register with the company simply by dialling a code on their phone.
The company has grown consistently since it was set up in 2015 and has financed its growth entirely through its own cash flow. “We have adopted a patient, long-term view as a company and this has kept us going even in tough times,” says John Oroko, Co-founder and CEO.
One of the big opportunities Selina Wamucii has identified is the growing popularity of avocados and related products like extra virgin avocado oil, especially in markets such as China, Russia and the Middle East. “With Kenya now being the largest exporter of avocados in Africa and over 80% of avocados being grown by smallholder farmers, this presents a unique opportunity for Selina, given our fast-growing network of farmers and an optimised supply chain,” says John.
The company is now embarking on an expansion into Ethiopia, with entry into Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda also planned over the next five years. However, there are challenges ahead, according to John. “Sub-Saharan Africa’s working age population is expected to grow to around 800 million by 2030,” he says. “Agriculture is the only immediate viable economic opportunity for these young people. These young farmers are adaptable to trends and opportunities, including uptake of technology, that will increase agricultural output. On the other hand, climate change is going to be a challenge that needs to be addressed.”