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

Airtel Gabon links Libreville, Port-Gentil to ACE fibre optic network

Individual and corporate bodies in Libreville and Port-Gentil, Gabon’s two largest cities, will soon travel in the fast lane of the internet highway thanks to Airtel Gabon, which is about to link the two cities to the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) fibre optic network. Read More

Spectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa

University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device. Read More

Nokia Networks, Safaricom launch LTE-A network in Kenya

Safaricom has selected Nokia Networks as one of its partners to modernize and expand its 2G and 3G network infrastructure and to help launch the first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network in Kenya.  Read More

Airtel connects Embakasi Police station with free internet

Bharti Airtel has connected Embakasi Police Station in Nairobi, Kenya, to the internet for free.  Read More

Kenyan bloggers in fear over crackdown

Kenyan bloggers report that they feel ‘under siege’ after bloggers who have criticized government were arrested or their sites taken down. Read More

SA tech start-up solves the Google Woza Online problem

Do-it-yourself website builder, VIGO, is set to take on small businesses after the shutdown of Google SA’s Woza Online. Read More

MainOne commissions N7b data centre

MainOne has commissioned its premier Tier III Lekki Data Center to address the growing demand for colocation, cloud and disaster recovery services in the sub-region. Read More

Bringing the ultra-broadband revolution to Africa

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes outlines the company’s vision for Africa. Read More

Douala, Yaoundé internet exchange points to be ready by June

Cameroon’s two internet exchange points (IXPs), earmarked to be established in the main cities of Douala and Yaoundé, will be ready by June 2015, the ministry of posts and telecoms said. Read More

2015 predictions for Wi-Fi

In its predictions for this year, Ruckus Wireless believes the state of the Wi-Fi industry continues to look positive. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

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

FEATURED STORY

UCC launches 2015 ACIA awardsUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards

Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.

IN DEPTH

Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up Kenya’s digital TV battle hots up

Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.

COMPANY NEWS

Spectra Wireless, Microsoft 4Afrika launch first commercial TV white spaces services in Africa

University students will now get fast, affordable Internet bundles and receive zero-interest financing when purchasing a new device.