By Bob Aston
The Sipili Cereals and Marketing Cooperative Society benefited through G-SOKO training as well as a computer donation from the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC). EAGC through Virtual City took five management committee members of the cooperative through the training on May 7, 2016 at Ng’arua Maarifa Centre.
The Maarifa Centre has been a resource for the cooperative as they have been accessing free Information and Communication Technology services as well as capacity building in agriculture.
|Some committee members of Sipili Cereals and Marketing cooperative during the training|
The committee members learned how to use the platform when receiving cereals in the warehouse, weighing, grading, inventory, asset, store, and route management.
Mr. Kelvin Tallam from Virtual City noted that through the online platform, farmers are able to aggregate their produce through a certified warehouse and access financial services using their grains as collateral. The platform performs a structured trade function that integrates the entire grain trade from farm to market.
He said that Sipili cereals and Marketing Cooperative Society would be able to trade their grain competitively and transparently by integrating the entire grain value chain from farm to market.
Mr. Kipyegon Kipkemei, EAGC Central Rift Program Officer said that use of G-soko would strengthen Sipili Cereals and Marketing Cooperative Society warehouse and that they would enjoy the benefits of structured trade once they start using warehouse receipt system.
He noted that the innovation would not only enhance traceability of grains from individual farmers but it would also enable the cooperative to access information on market opportunities, track goods and connect them with buyers.
He said that use of warehouse receipt system would ease collateral constraints for the cooperative members, as banks are able to accept receipts as collateral.
“The platform will improve the cooperative knowledge and use of quality grades and standards for cereals. This will ensure that the cooperative supplies good quality produce due to standardized and proven grading,” said Mr. Kipyegon.
Mr. Douglas Githaiga, Chairman Sipili Cereals, and Marketing Cooperative Society thanked EAGC for organizing the training and for donating a laptop and modem to the group. He said that the equipment’s would help the 100-member cooperative to automate their operations from grain intake to dispatch.
EAGC has installed G-soko software in the laptop. This will help to link the cooperative warehouse with grain actors including traders, banks, suppliers, and agro-dealers.
The EAGC in partnership with Virtual City with the support of FoodTrade East and Southern Africa (Food Trade ESA) is using the G-Soko to connect grain bulking/aggregation centres and certified warehouses, linked to a virtual trading platform, as well as participating banks for settlement and clearing and trading houses all regulated and administered by EAGC.