Hadija Jabiri, a young Tanzanian woman is providing market for smallholder fruits and vegetables farmers across the country by linking the growers and buyers through a B2B mobile platform.
The agriprenuer says that though she does not come from a farming background and never thought she would get into farming, she developed interest in agribusiness after identifying money making opportunity.
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“I hail from a middle-income family and my parents were not farmers as I never saw them going to the farm but after engaging with farmers for a long time now and seeing the impact agribusiness makes to the community around, I can confidently say I have learnt to love what I am doing,” said Jabiri.
Through her horticultural company, GBRI Business Solutions Ltd (GBRI), she has been able to work with over 500 smallholder farmers who the company trains them to be able to grow vegetables reaching export standards, offering agronomic support and buys their produce.
GBRI has been exporting French beans, snow peas and sugar snaps to EU countries while trading bananas n the local markets.
The company buys raw bananas from small holder farmers, ripens and sells to fruit vendors.
“Our company has been focused on growing, processing and marketing horticultural crops in both local and export markets,” said Jibri who is also GBRI’s Managing Director.
According to the IVLP alumnae and holder of multiple awards and nominations for her work and business, GBRI provides quality produce with increased shelf life of 2-3 days directly to vendors and it is keen to secure other markets.
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“As much as we have been able to export to European countries, still the company is seeking to tap into the Middle East market.”
How the B2B mobile platform works
B2B mobile platform is underpinned by a technology platform offering easy customer ordering, a cashless process, and importantly a digital transaction history to vendors to enable them to access financial services such as working capital and loans.
“Our platform is an end-to-end business model which offers a strong value proposition for both farmers and vendors creating formal market access for fruits and vegetables in the domestic market”, sad Jibri.
In this, she added, the model addresses the biggest challenge of unstructured domestic market access of fruits and vegetables to farmers.
The company now has a team of 31 permanent employees and the company gets between 50 to 150 casual workers daily depending on the volumes of production.
“Currently, we are operating in four Tanzanian regions but in the near future we are looking forward to establish our presence in all cities,” said the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounts graduate from St Augustine University.
Dealing with horticultural produce which is highly perishable pushes the company to increase its investment in cold storage and transportation infrastructures.
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For Jabiri, running a company which gives employment opportunities to hundreds of other young people is fulfilling. This is besides helping smallholder farmers attain increased productivity and being assured of markets for their produce.