Kenyan startup Daktaripap has racked up over 2,000 subscribers to its mobile, web and SMS platform that aims to increase farmers’ access to reliable, affordable and credible veterinary, agronomy, insurance and financial services.
DaktariPap connects farmers to the nearest service provider in a variety of areas. If a site visit is needed, one is immediately scheduled, with Daktaripap leveraging on mobile technology to ensure farmers are better prepared to address and prevent current and future crop and livestock health challenges.
“Farmers can access certified and more affordable service providers from the comfort of their mobile phone without worrying about been conned or engaging non-qualified practitioners who may risk and compromise the health of their crops and livestock,” Samuel Munguti, the startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.
Launched in 2016, Daktaripap already has over 2,000 subscriptions and facilitates over 10,000 connections each month. Munguti said the startup is aiming for up to one million subscribers in the next five years if it can secure the right investment and partnerships.
Dakratipap was conceived after co-founders Munguti, Alex Matui and Brian Mutiso worked together at Farmers Pride, a Kenyan startup that helps farmers access quality agricultural inputs and information.
“We continued getting feedback and requests from more and more farmers every day to refer them to credible agronomists, vets and insurance agents. The experiences narrated by the majority of those farmers when dealing with agricultural service providers included incompetent officers, poor customer service, and wrong prescriptions,” Munguti said.
“The turning point was when we met a customer at one of the Farmers Pride stores in August 2016. Veronicah, a frequent customer we knew very well, had lost her only cow, and was crying uncontrollably. Her cow had been treated by a neighbour who she always thought was a qualified vet. That day the treatment turned tragic.”
The team considered providing a solution for Farmers Pride customers, but eventually ended up forming Daktaripap.
“We decided to build a technology solution to solve the credibility challenges farmers face when in need of agricultural service providers,” Munguti said. “Amazingly, the solution is causing lots of excitement among farmers who can quickly access qualified service providers.”
The startup has numerous traditional, offline competitors like independent vets, agronomists, banks and insurance agents, but Munguti said farmers feel there is no way to guarantee their qualifications and quality of service.
“There are 3.5 million rural smallholder farmers in Kenya alone, and over 80 per cent of these face similar challenges to Veronicah,” he said. “Daktaripap aims to net over 30 per cent of this pool of farmers in the next five years.”
The startup – which charges a US$100 quarterly subscription fee – is currently self-funded, but Munguti said it was in the process of raising a seed round in order to take the solution to more farming communities.
“Potential investors, governments and development partners out there that are keen to empower farmers through quality access to credible healthcare service providers can talk to us,” he said. “Daktaripap is the next big thing in Africa, changing the game one farmer after another.”