01 November 2013

Mobile money unlocks opportunities for Kenyan farmers

Kisumu, Kenya – The picture of a farmer with a cell phone checking market prices is nearly ubiquitous.

Cell phones connect people to each other as families and businesses. However, it is mobile money that may be formalizing Kenya's small businesses.

The oft-touted M-PESA cash transfer system pioneered in Kenya is changing business just as it did banking. Small businesses are using e-payments to not only collect money from customers, but expand their services.

Cell phone technologies are no longer simply places to make phone calls and check market prices. They are supporting small business growth in Kenya.

Nahashon Mugi, 46, is one business owner doing just that. His Macnut Farms sells fruit tree seedlings across Kenya. His customers make their orders and he sends a text message with information on how to pay by phone. Once the payment is received, he ships the seedlings to the customer.

“Using M-PESA is convenient and more accurate for me,” he said.

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