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The farmers’ middleman

The farmers' middleman
FARMER WITH A DREAM: Modikoane

Me and My Business

Realizing the gap in the market and in order to address farmers struggles, Mogomotsi Modikoane and his partners have created a platform where farmers meet to sell and buy products from across the country.

Speaking to Voice Money, Modikoane says last year they created a platform known as Tselayagwe Investments which could represent the farmers and to facilitate trading of livestock.

“What we do is that, we go to the farms, take pictures and put them online and advertise on our social media pages as well and we have been receiving requests from all over the country,” said the 32 year old entrepreneur from Molepolole.

Explaining how the platform works, Modikoane says once they have uploaded pictures of livestock being sold, potential buyers will express their interest and if they agree to the price they buy through the same platform.

He says Tselayagwe does not dictate the price of the livestock, but sell at a price that that has been put up by the seller, adding that they only get five percent commission from sales.

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“We rely on farmers and availability of livestock up for sale. We go out there to find out what farmers are willing to sell, then link them to potential buyers through this platform,” he revealed.

The company also serves as an agent for those who are looking for livestock and they use the same platform to find potential sellers.

While initially Tselayagwe mainly focused on the trading of livestock, the owners are now broadening the scope to include horticulture.

The farmers' middleman
INSPIRING FARM: Modikoane’s cattle

“This one links you directly to the farmer as a consumer so that you get your food at a lower price. Why this concept? A farmer produces cabbage and sells it to a retail store for P5.00 which is going to be paid after 30 days,” said Modikoane.

Now, through the platform, he says farmers can sell directly to consumers at a lower price if the courtesy of delivery is not included.

Although the horticulture platform is yet to be rolled out, he reckons it will be a success just like the one for livestock.

“We are still short on resources to facilitate trading of horticultural products through the platform.We’re still busy with livestock platform which is also becoming overwhelming because now we are sitting on an order of 450 cattle,” he revealed proudly.

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Tselayagwe comprises a team of five, including Modikoane who is the founder and heads the sales and procurement department as well.

Modikoane feels Tselayagwe has been beautifully embraced by the local farmers and figures speak for themselves.

“It is quite impressive that we have been able to get these orders in a period of just months.”

The company has its own registered farmers on the database whom they can contact should the need arise.

While currently the company only fetches a commission from sale of livestock, Modikoane says they will soon introduce service fees where farmers buy a stall online with membership.

“The membership will mean that we have a farmer’s profile for our database. We create a file for a farmer on our database and all the information that a buyer will need to know about the seller will be readily available,” he explained.

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Through the creation of the platform, Modikoane says they are looking to commercialize farming in the country, saying the platform is the first step towards their goal.

“The agric sector is quite vast and has the potential to create a number of jobs, and I appeal to farmers to come on board,” said Modikoane, adding that soon they will be opening offices across the country.

The company’s core focus has been in Ghanzi district due to the area being rich in livestock, particularly cattle.

Modikoane says their business will also have spillover effects on other services such as transportation.

“We operate a truck but it’s not enough and we are not going to go out and buy more trucks. So we want those who have trucks to rent routes to transport these livestock while we facilitate in their trading,” he said in conclusion.

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