To design DigiFarm, Safaricom with support from Mercy Corps AgriFin, employed human centered design to get a deep understanding of the attitudes, believes, motivations, and social norms that influence farmer behaviour. They assessed the needs and challenges across several value chains including seasonal cycles, financing needs and routes to market. They went further and delved into the complexities of ecosystem players and market dynamics by mapping out the broader ecosystem of players in financing, input provision, aggregation, off-take as well as understanding relevant policies and development priorities.
Safaricom identified four major challenges that faced the Kenyan small holder farmers. this included:
- 1. Expensive and poor quality inputs that lead to low yields.
- 2. A lack of access to knowledge resources to improve agronomy
- 3. High cost and limited availability of credit which limit opportunities to invest to improve their farms.
- 4. Limited channels to market which leads to low bargaining power and post-harvest losses