Inuka Africa is a microfinance institution that helps small businesses scale by providing much needed quick and affordable loans - microloans, SME loans and agribusiness loans. It offers financial services, training and capacity building to micro, small and mid-size enterprises with a special focus on smallholder farmers and agri-business actors.
Inuka Africa finances input and service purchases by smallholder dairy farmers through the inputs management module on the Smart Cow platform.
The project started in 2018 with various capacity building activities. The SmartCow application has been available on Google Playstore since Jan 2019. Farmers are able to maintain records, borrow loans and buy inputs and there is an increase in customers borrowing loans, although still small given the length of time records must be kept to qualify for a loan.
While animal health management is not new, the bundling into packages, and automation of monitoring of service delivery through use of technology for greater efficiency and accuracy, is still a relatively new concept.
Banks and other financial intermediaries provide input financing, are not adequately structured for a packaged, subscriptive product/service and so are evolving.
Dairy farming is mostly done by women though men are usually the account holders with cooperatives.
Most young people shy away due to low milk prices. However, male youth are faster to adopt and use SmartCow and phone Apps.
Generally communities living close to urban areas tend to be faster adopters of emerging technologies.
Farmers are highly price sensitive and additional charges for use of agri-related mobile apps can deter some farmers from using them regularly.