Kenyan entrepreneur wins commonwealth award for helping farmers

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A Kenyan social entrepreneur whose company is connecting smallholder farmers in Africa to global supply chains has won the Commonwealth Secretary-General’s Innovation Award for Sustainable Development.

John Oroko, the co-founder of Selina Wamucii, received the recognition for the work his innovative company is doing.

The award was presented by the Commonwealth Secretary-General the RT Hon Patricia Scotland and the Vice-President of Seychelles Vincent Meriton in the Seychellois Island of Mahe.

The award ceremony event was held during the opening day of the Commonwealth Africa Innovation Ecosystem Workshop.

Oroko said that the award would go a long way in building the necessary momentum for transforming agricultural value chains across Africa.

Facing first-hand the realities that rural farmers grapple with in accessing markets and earning decent household incomes, John, who resolved to transform farmers’ earnings and found an ally in technology.

Upon graduating and after a short stint at employment, John quit to start Selina Wamucii, his company.

John whose philosophy is driving initiatives that create lasting impact among communities loves spending time working to address society’s most pressing problems.

Since co-founding the company in June 2015 he has managed to enlist over 7,000 farmers across the country who grow high value food among them fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, spices and other agro commodities which find their way across markets in Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

To become part of the network, farmers sign up to join Selina through their mobile phones via USSD.

The system captures information relating to the geographical locations of smallholder farmers, what they are producing, the various stages of progress throughout the season, harvest timelines and projections and actual volumes at harvest.