When the long rains began, it was a big relief to many Kenyans, especially the small scale farmers and other participants along the Agri-food value chain. As the rains kept pounding, people began to get weary of some of the adversities that accompanied it. There were fatalities reported, several homes and property got swept away too. Nevertheless, there are some parts of the country where the rains came as a blessing as the crops and vegetation began to flourish.
At Cherehani Africa we work with several women micro-entrepreneurs along the Agri-food value chain who access our financial education content and credit via mobile. Through our data analytics during this period, we noticed some trend changes in a section of our customer group - the women and adolescent girls who are vegetable vendors!
When our Product Design and Data teams dug deeper, we discovered that some of the vegetable vendors in the rural parts of the country were having a rough time selling their products, few didn't show up in the market at all. Almost every home in the rural parts of Kenya practices subsistence farming; which is largely dependent on the rains - during the long rains the small farms within or around the homes do well, therefore, few customers go to the market to purchase vegetables and the prices remain inconsistent. The vegetable vendors in these rural markets must pivot. Due to the seasonal element of their business, vegetable vendors need relevant education around diversification, insurance and savings for their micro-businesses to survive during the tough times.
A combination of data analytics and design thinking is enabling us to discover these gaps and to develop relatable, localized and personalized educational content for our customers, and to surround them with relevant financial services.