By Murithi Kinoti.
Meru County’s Smart Champions Sacco has splashed their marketing strategies as they seek to cash in on unbanked farmers and low-income earners.
Sacco Chief Executive Officer, Robert Mbijiwe said the Smart Champions products are specifically developed to cater for farmers and will help in capturing the unbanked section of the population.
“It is the excellent financial products and efficient delivery of services to members that has enabled us members”, said Mbijiwe.
As part of its support to farmers, Smart Champions Sacco has partnered with International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), Sereni Fries and Syngenta Kenya to assist them access ready markets.
According to Martin Mugambi, the Deputy CEO at Smart Champions Sacco, there are several partners assisting Kirimara Group members to access markets, get financial assistance, learn the best farming practices and access the required inputs.
For instance, International Fertilizer Development Center enables potato farmers’ access financial assistance, best fertilizers to grow their crops and offers training best farming methods.
Syngenta provides the best chemicals to the potato farmers to spray their crops while Sereni Fries buys all the produce when harvested.
“National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK) is the mediator between the seller and the buyer to make sure there is satisfaction between both parties, Smart Champions Sacco provides cash in form of loans to the farmers, pay for all the services by partners while farmers repay their loans after the potato produce is sold,” said Mugambi.
Cash from Sereni Fries is channeled through Smart Champions Sacco where members have accounts. The Society also trains farmers on how to save and keep records.