||Agriculture in Ghana is dominated by over 3 million smallholder farmers who cultivate on an average farm size of 2 ha. Given the export-oriented historical nature of its economy; neglect has led to an informal, inefficient domestic supply chain of food staples with minimal income for smallholder farmers, informal women vendors and 30 to 40% of crops that rot during handling and as unsold produce both at the trader and women retailing level.
VIVUS combines the smart use of mobile phone technology, a shared rural transportation system and an inclusive business model to redesign for an integrated, efficient supply chain of food staples feeding growing Ghanaian cities – a market valued at over USD 2.8 billion.
VIVUS has developed a mobile-based “crowd-purchasing” system for women vendors enabling a near “zero-rot” trade. We send ‘DEAL OF THE DAY’ SMS, offering staples at discounted prices. By allowing women vendors in effect to “pre-order” their staples; we do a just-in-time sourcing and leverage other efficiencies to offer a discount and make a profit.
To make sure we deliver on our promise to source, we designate a lead farmer to aggregate the food produce of other farmers and provide farmers with LOW-COST CARTS and CARGO BIKES to facilitate the farm-gate transport of produce from the farm to the collection point.
We are pioneering a model we call “Mobile + Light Infrastructure” especially relevant for Sub-Saharan Africa and our early work has been recognized by the UNDP-UNEP SEED Initiative Award, CTI-PFAN and the Partnering for Global Impact Conference.