Zim livestock trading goes online

INTERNET

|
Image: Allister Banks. By Alfonce Mbizwo
Allister Banks

By Alfonce Mbizwo, Harare, Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans can now buy and sell cattle online; thanks to the Remote Livestock Marketing System - Zimbabwe’s first online marketing system for livestock.

The portal founder, Allister Banks, told BizTechAfrica that his portal had opened opportunities for farmers while bringing efficiencies to an industry that has relied more on live auctions over the years.

“I have over 20 years’ experience in the livestock marketing industry and I know that I am up against a hundred years of tradition. The industry has relied on live cattle auctions but we are saying that does not have to be the case anymore, thanks to improvements in technology,” he said.

“In particular, the growth and improvements in mobile technology have made it possible to conduct such sales without the need for the buyer to physically to an auction or farm.”

Until now, buyers have had to attend the auction to bid, and then transport their cattle all the way back to their farm or abattoir. The logistics of having all the cattle and all the people in the same place at the same time often presents challenges, he says, especially in recent times as more small-scale farmers enter the industry.

“We have brought efficiency to the whole system. A farmer can put up their cattle for sale on the website through a cellphone. We send our assessor who will look at the cattle and we put the pictures and other relevant data on the website and the bidding starts."

“Once a deal has been agreed, payment is made through mobile payment systems. The buyer will only collect the cattle once the transaction is complete,” said Banks.

Through the system, he said, he has sold between 2 500 and 3 000 cattle since he launched the service in March this year. Small livestock such as pigs, goats and sheep have also been sold via the system.

Using the power of the internet, RLMS’s reach has transcended borders, with buyers from as far as Ireland, Sweden, South Africa, Angola and Botswana.

In Zimbabwe, the company has mainly serviced the Mashonaland hinterland, but Banks says he has plans to increase the reach to other areas and the cattle rich south of the country.

“I am working on some pilot schemes in areas that have small-scale farmers,” he said. 

RLMS won this year’s Jumpstart Challenge and prizes totalling USD10 000, which pleased Banks.

“Jumpstart is for anyone with a dream, and I had one. I was looking at the Australian model for my project but in terms of developing the actual site I was inclined to go Indian, using the best free web-based resources I could find. I am not a technical person so I researched a lot on how it would work, and the result is our current website."

“But at Jumpstart, I was amazed at the technical expertise available in this country, it made me proud."

“Apart from the prize money, which would obviously come in handy, I met experts who are now helping with the back end of the RLMS system to remove some of the inefficiencies and bring it up to scratch.

“The idea is to make bring more automation into the system.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE INTERNET NEWS

Gilat Satcom launches Village Island satellite service for rural Africa

Gilat Satcom has launched its ‘Village Island’ portfolio which enables rural villages and remote communities in Africa where ARPUs are low to take control of their digital futures. Read More

Cyber law takes bite at first victim

Journalist and blogger Daniel Kenosi has become the first known casualty of the cybercrime law that Botswana's law makers have been trying to put into effect.  Read More

Fibre rollout seeks stakeholder participation

Implementers of new BoFINET projects dubbed Wholesale Wi-Fi and Fibre-to-the-X are calling on all relevant stakeholders to team up with them to help the projects take shape. Read More

Africa Online to launch new services in Tanzania

Pan-African service provider, Gondwana International Networks (GIN), parent company to Africa Online, has announced that it will be expanding its VSAT services in Tanzania as well as launching a managed infrastructure and services solution called iManage.  Read More

Orange rolls out 3G in Mandera County

Orange has rolled out its GSM network in Mandera County as part of the company’s ongoing plan to connect all counties across the country to Orange’s high-speed network. Read More

Free Wifi at Dakar’s Independence Square

Internet users visiting the city centre of the Senegalese capital city will now be able to browse the internet for free at the Independence Square (Place de l’Indépendance), as part of the Dakar Digital City project. Read More

Local content will drive Nigeria’s internet penetration, says ComTech minister

Contrary to the belief that social network platforms such as YouTube, Facebook WhatsApp and others will drive internet penetration, Nigeria’s Communication Technology Minister, Mrs Omobola Johnson, says local content will drive internet penetration in the country. Read More

Telecom Namibia hosts first WACS upgrade meeting

The West Africa Cable System (WACS) Consortium is meeting in Windhoek to discuss the upgrade of the system’s capacity in view of the enormous bandwidth update since commissioning in May 2013. Read More

TV White Spaces to improve broadband access in the health sector

Botswana Innovation Hub, in collaboration with Microsoft Corporation, University of Pennsylvania, BoFiNet, USAID - NetHope and other private sector partners, will launch a TV White Spaces project to connect clinics this week. Read More

YahClick, Vox Telecom to provide internet to SKA community in SA

YahClick has announced that, in conjunction with Vox Telecom, it has won an SKA project tender in South Africa.  Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

2bn priced out of internet access2bn priced out of internet access

A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India. 

COMPANY NEWS

Microsoft 4Afrika launches Biz4Afrika online SME hub

Microsoft 4Afrika used the opening of the Connected East Africa event in Diani, Kenya today to launch Biz4Afrika, an online hub providing Kenyan small and medium enterprises ...