The Government of Makueni County continues to diligently seek ways of enhancing production and economic growth in order to economically empower her citizenry. In doing this, the government continues to get into partnerships with like-minded stakeholders. There are proposals aimed at increasing productivity in the agricultural sector in line with the Kenya’s big four agenda.
At a time when the world is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, it is timely and critical to explore innovative and tech savvy methods of marketing produce, to reduce post-harvest losses, increase profit margins and attract the youth to agri-business. This will ensure sustainability of Government of Makueni county interventions aimed at wealth creation for her citizens. One such marketing tool is an E-marketing portal which has been developed in partnership with CS Cart, the developer of CS-Cart Multi-Vendor software. This will facilitate trade while promoting interventions that aim at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
Electronic marketing/commerce, commonly referred to as E-marketing, is the trading or facilitation of trading in products or services using computer networks, such as the internet or online social networks. E-commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction’s life cycle. It may also use other technologies such as e-mail.
Traders and farmers within Makueni county have experienced difficulties in selling of their produce/products due to brokers and other middle men who have taken advantage of the COVID-19 crisis to exploit them. It has been difficult for them to get real time market information and sell their products directly to the market. This has led to poor sales by traders, exploitation and post-harvest losses on fruits and vegetables being spoilt before reaching the market. On the other hand, consumers cannot get basic commodities at fair prices due to the brokers’ exploitation.
Advances in technology need to bridge the gap between the citizen and the market place and provide a reliable and efficient medium for the citizens in different areas of the county to access to markets.
This system, a technology based solution, will give the citizens a chance to advertise their produce efficiently and conveniently, get real-time information on the market place, inform the citizens of the market price for their goods and allow them to compare and sell to those offering a favourable price.
The online marketplace will be built on CS-Cart Multi-Vendor. It is a leading professional online marketplace platform used by over 1,300 companies in 170 countries. CS-Cart helps non-profit and governmental organizations fight the global pandemic of COVID-19 by providing them with free licenses of their commercial marketplace software solution.
The E-marketing solution will have different integrated modules to facilitate information exchange. The following features will be provided for in the system :-
- Market Price Information
- Local Market Product / services listing (advertising)
- Information Exchange
- Validating input data
- Multi-vendor management
- Real-time Reports
- Marketing Tools
The E-marketing portal will promote marketing of Makueni County as a brand and showcase the products from the county to the local and global market. It will also provide a platform for making comparisons between different merchant prices and varieties available. Traders and farmers will be able to showcase their products locally and globally.