Moses Gichuru - Bonde Soko Services
Moses Gichuru is a Transaction Security Service (TSS) franchise holder for TruTrade and the Managing Director of Bonde Soko Services. Moses has been working in agricultural marketing since 2007.
Bonde Soko Services
Bonde Soko is a market access company registered in 2009 and located in Nakuru, Kenya. It aims to link small-scale farmers to better markets and to provide affordable food products to low income consumers. Bonde Soko uses TruTrade’s TSS marketing model, which gives fair prices to farmers, transparency, ethical sourcing and traceability.
Bonde Soko’s main value chains are cassava, sorghum, wheat, pulses and milk.
Cassava: We are working with around 2,000 small-scale farmers. In Kenya our groups are: Basi Mwangaza in Kilifi; Subaron Coop in Homa Bay and Kilifi prisons. In Uganda we are working with Kyere cooperative in Soroti. We have four collection centres with one agent in each. We supply the following processors: Smart Logistics, Mummy Foods and Kemwa Foods. We also source for our own processing centre for Cassangano branded flour.
White Sorghum: In partnership with Food Chain Miller and East African Maltings, we are working with around 1,000 contracted small-scale farmers in Solai in Nakuru and Kinamba in Laikipia. We have six collections centres each with an agent. Our buyer is East African Breweries.
Wheat: We source from 500 farmers (for Cassangano flour) from Mau-Narok and Nairutia and Timau in Meru. We have three collections centres with three agents who source for our Cassangano production.
Pulses: We source pigeon peas, cow peas, green grams, lentils, red, black, and kidney beans from 300 farmers in Northern Uganda, Meru and Ukambaani in Kenya. We have four collections centres and eight agents. Our buyers are Bunda Cake, Nakuru.
A milk value Chain trial
In 2015 Bonde Soko conducted trials over two months for the development of a milk value chain from 200 farmers in Kangema in Murang’a, to the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) markets in Northern Nairobi. We used three collections centres with two agents at the sourcing end, two at the market end with seven outlets manned by vendors. We are scaling up the value chain in 2016.
Ruralnet sources mangoes for Burton and Bamber an agro-processing company in Thika specializing in preservation and dehydration of fruit and other vegetable crops. The farmers are selling at 8/ per kg with a bonus, after the buyer pays, of 3/, (approx. Ksh 60,000/) per 4 ton consignment. Ruralnet also exports to the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) markets in Kampala. In the season Ruralnet sends truckloads of 10 tons (approx. 20,000 pieces) to Kampala, the farmers are selling at 7/ per piece for the Kampala market with a bonus of 2/, (approx. Ksh 360,000/ per full consignment).
Cassangano: where affordability connects with need
In 2016 Boko Soko is starting up a processing unit for wheat and cassava blended flour with the brand name of Cassangano. Our market research found that many families could not afford wheat flour and therefore we saw a market opportunity for an affordable and nutritious blended flour. This will also provide a market for farmer’s cassava flour.
Bonde Soko’s approximate figures for trading in 2015 were as follows: 600 mt cassava with a value of US$150,000; 200 mt sorghum (US$66,000); 30 mt wheat (US$900); 210 mt pulses (US$100,000) and 8,010 litres milk (US$3,500).
Projections for 2016
Bonde Soko intends for its trade in cassava and sorghum to remain stable. It aims to increase trade in wheat, pulses and milk as follows: wheat (200 mt); pulses (270 mt); milk (900,000 litres). We are also introducing a new line to the BOP market selling Cassangano flour, which should bring in a total revenue of US$200,000.