Khula is a farming app that can help emerging farmers find their feet. A pilot of the app was launched last year, and 175 farmers are currently using it.
Founder Karidas Tshintsholo says this is his second business venture. He and his partner, Matthew Piper, left the University of Cape Town in the middle of their studies, when they realised they wanted to invest their time into creating business ideas.
After their first venture failed, Tshintsholo says they "wanted to do something more meaningful" to assist black farmers to thrive.
"Black farmers have been excluded from the formal markets because their produce is too small."
The app allows a number of farmers who produce a fairly small harvest to combine their crops to reach requirements to supply their products on a larger scale.
"There are automatic financials, so the app tracks how much farmers have made. We have someone who has already made R500,000."
Farmers using the app currently supply fresh produce for The Michelangelo Hotel, RocoMamas and the Sandton Convention Centre, among other establishments.
Tshintsholo says Khula assists farmers with their finances.
"There are automatic financials, so the app tracks how much farmers have made. We have someone who has already made R500,000," he says. "The bank knows they have a regular income, so they can buy irrigations systems."
The app prevents crop wastage.
"Before they plant, they can know what the demand is," he explained.
Here are other aspects that the app can assist with:
The driver app allows for shared logistics costs among many farmers. Local truck owners register on the app and get notified when a delivery job is available. The app lets drivers manage their deliveries.
The platform manages farmer profiles and allows the viewing of inventory levels in the warehouse location radius. It manages incoming products, processing and packaging inventory, as well as outgoing orders.
It allows clients to order from a range of produce directly from the farm. Clients can also select and manage there preferred suppliers, view their invoices, and view real-time inventory as well as future production schedules.