How SokoFresh Impacts Smallholder Farmers in Kenya
What is SokoFresh?
SokoFresh offers both professional first mile produce handling and solar powered cold storage for smallholder farmers in Kenya. For many smallholder farmers, post harvest loss is responsible for 30-40% produce loss. By setting up professional first mile post harvest management operations as well as a tech enabled market linkage platform that puts small holder farmers at the center of value chain activities, SokoFresh makes it possible for small farmers to leverage solar powered cold storage technology to eliminate access barriers. unlocking longer shelf life and higher quality produce.
In a 2022 study funded by Acumen, 60 Decibels surveyed 200 cold storage solution customers to understand SokoFresh’s impact. A typical SokoFresh customer is a 51-year-old male who lives in a rural area, in a household with 4 members.
Five things stood out:
- SokoFresh is doing a great job at reaching unserved customers who don’t have access to alternatives
- A focus on customer challenges, issue resolution, and customer service would likely result in improved impact and satisfaction
- Customer satisfaction is negatively impacted by challenge rate and issue resolution.
- Female customers are less likely to have their issues resolved, but apart from this, customer experience is similar for men and women
- Compared to the 60dB sector benchmarks, Soko Fresh underperformed in 5 of the 7 categories.
To unpack SokoFresh’s product and see the results of the 60dB study, check out the report below.
On February 9th, 2023, Acumen announced their investment in SokoFresh.
“With Acumen’s support, we can empower more farmers in Kenya and beyond to access fair and transparent markets, increase food security, and ultimately boost their incomes,” says SokoFresh CEO Denis Karema. “We’re thrilled to be working with a partner that shares our mission of using climate-smart solutions to create a sustainable and equitable food system.”
“Acumen is proud to back Sokofresh and their use of renewable energy to combat first-mile post-harvest loss, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers,” said Shiru Mwangi, Director, Acumen East Africa. “This investment highlights our dedication to support innovations that deliver direct impact to smallholder farmers.”
This study was a central part of the due diligence. Read the full report below.