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ICT4D conference

jenny pic 2Mrs. Jenny Rafanomezana, CEO of TruTrade is speaking at a conference on Thursday 19th May 2016 hosted by MercyCorp, AgriFin Mobile Program on a session called 'When Digital Services Need a Human Touch' in Kenya.

'It is important that people recognize that technology is not just a tool. The potential that technology has to transform a business or make a difference in people's lives depends on how it is used. For TruTrade there are issues we have had to figure out in designing our mobile app and in promoting franchisee access to smartphones, however by far the biggest challenge is in building the capacity of our agents and network managers to be able to use this tool to maximum effect.'

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Urban markets are key for TruTrade's growth

simsim BOPTruTrade is now directly linking smallholder farmers’ to consumers in towns and cities. We are particularly focused on meeting the needs of less-well-off clients who want to buy small amounts on a regular basis, they care about food safety and quality and need produce at an affordable price.

The advantage of the Base Of Pyramid (BOP) market is that it can provide TruTrade’s franchisees, with a year-round regular outlet. As Jacinta from AgriNet explains, "small-scale vendors pay on the day of delivery, unlike large-scale buyers or institutions, and this helps us to turn round our trade finance quickly."

In April, TruTrade decided to test a range of products on the BOP market, including: maize flour, high quality cassava flour (HQCF), beans, millet flour, simsim paste and sunflower oil. TruTrade has packaged these products and supplied them to stallholders in Kansanga, Makindye, Mbuya, Makerere, Mengo and Ntinda.

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IBM Orlando

TruTrade was showcased at IBM Connect 2016 event held in Orlando, Florida, USA between 29th January and 4th February 2016. Our chair Clive Lightfoot and franchisee James Weru explained how TruTrade’s software uses IBM collaboration and cloud technologies to facilitate learning between value chain players and to provide transparent and secure transaction services.

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On the ground for TruTrade’s first deals

TruTrade is now doing its first deals. In Uganda one of the founding franchisees’ AgriNet Ltd is sourcing sorghum and barley from small-scale producers to supply East African Breweries (EABL) in Kampala.

Our Transaction Security Services (TSS) provides a transparent and secure way to link farmers who grow sorghum with the buyer. But how does this work in practice? I was in Lira, in northern Uganda where AgriNet are bulking sorghum and saw TSS in action.

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