How Twiga Foods Is Revolutionizing Kenya’s Agri-Tech Space

For about three years, he was the President of Coca-Cola West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria. In his role, he oversaw 33 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A huge market. Despite occupying an enviable job, he was determined to solve the fragmented food distribution business on the continent through modern technology.

So, in 2014, he started Twiga Foods, an e-commerce platform that leverages technology to connect consumers, vendors, and suppliers, providing them with high-quality foods, products, and retail services across Africa. Today, Twiga Foods has grown to have 140,000 vendors on the platform, highlighting its crucial role in bridging the country’s food industry gap.

On average, Twiga Foods delivers 12,000 products to customers, besides working with 1,000 farmers and employing over 1,800 people in 12 cities. It is in operation in Kirinyaga, Machakos, Kiambu, Meru, and Embu, among other counties.

The firm’s East Africa Chief Executive Officer Yebeltal Getachew popularly known YG says that the company’s role is to cut fragmentation in the food industry by delivering produce directly from the source to retailers and wholesalers, among others.

“That’s our business,” he told a team from Capital FM during a tour of the facility at its Tatu City headquarters on the outskirts of Nairobi.

“Our aim is to cut the number of people interacting with a product right from its source to the final consumer,” he said.

YG led us on a guided tour when we accompanied our Managing Director Fiesal Baghazal last week.

“This is impressive, you have changed the market,” Feisal told YG whom he once worked with at CocaCola.

As you can see, YG told us, “we use the latest machinery and technology in everything we do. We are paperless.”

Workers were busy loading and offloading crates of bananas that had arrived from farms across the country or packing them for dispatch to the market.

Operations at the plant have been digitized to ensure seamless work.

To leverage in the ever-changing competitive market, YG said Twiga Foods offers affordable prices to clients due to their ability to source products in bulk from suppliers as well as seamless logistics.

As the company grew in 2018, it ventured into Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), allowing it to sell products such as maize flour, cooking oil, soft drinks among others to small retailers such as kiosks.

In the short time since it was launched, Twiga Foods has raised sufficient capital enabling it to invest more and expand its operations.

“We were pretty successful in Kenya. So we want to consolidate our dominant position, clarify our proof of concept and expand into neighboring countries,” Njonjo said at the time.

However, as the firm grew and as demand from customers increased, it launched a 650-hectare farm in Taita Taveta County to produce tomatoes, watermelons, onions among others.

YG said the modern farm was part of the company’s ambition to expand its business by supplying fresh produce and products through the Internet.

“Through this farm in Taita Taveta, we have been able to offer employment to locals,” he said.

In Taita Taveta, the company has created hundreds of jobs for local communities as well as boosted its economy.

This is also replicated in other counties where it is working with farmers whose incomes have improved because of working with the agri-tech company.

Twiga Foods has now introduced its branded products, such as cooking oil, maize flour, rice among others which are gaining popularity in the market due to their pocket-friendly prices.

The company is one of the biggest distributors of Coca-Cola products in the country.

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