Zim livestock trading goes online
INTERNET| Oct. 25, 2012, 1:29 p.m.
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.”
MORE INTERNET NEWS
AfricaOnline Ghana to launch Radwin Network in AccraAfricaOnline Ghana has announced that it will soon launch its new Radwin Network in Accra offering superior reliable high speed broadband for its corporate clients. Read More
Econet launches digital learning platformEconet Wireless Zimbabwe has launched a digital learning platform called Ruzivo, a revolutionary online interactive digital learning platform targeted at both primary and secondary students. Read More
16m Nigerians use Facebook monthlyFacebook reports that 16 million people in Nigeria now visit Facebook every month - all of them on mobile. Read More
Busy 4G LTE ready to get Ghana busyCustomers experience on 4G LTE will never be the same following the successful launch of Busy Internet 4G services in Accra. Read More
A4AI predicts smartphone affordability to drive demand for cheaper dataThe Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has predicted that the availability of lower cost smartphones in developing countries is expected to put pressure on network service providers to reduce cost on data to ensure that competition works for users. Read More
Microsoft Philanthropies commits $1bn in cloud computing resources for the public goodMicrosoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella has announced a new three-part initiative to ensure that Microsoft’s cloud computing resources serve the public good. Read More
SEACOM, Ciena drive web-scale services across AfricaLocal Internet Service Providers are set to benefit from increased reach and enhanced capacity thanks to a partnership between SEACOM and network provider Ciena. Read More
Busy Internet to roll out 4G LTE services in GhanaBusy Internet will be rolling out its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Ghana soon. Read More
SEACOM extends support for innovation and incubation hubs in East AfricaSEACOM has extended its support of Uganda’s technology incubation hubs by providing high speed internet (20mbps) connectivity to Hive Colab and Outbox. Read More
FEATURED STORYViber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats
Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner
Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation.
COMPANY NEWSDStv Eutelsat Star Awards winners named
Students from Ghana and Zimbabwe have scooped top honours at 5th edition of DStv Eutelsat Star Awards organised by MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat.