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Producers Direct began creating the concept of Wefarm in 2010 and to-date it is still one of our proudest achievements. What is now the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network, Wefarm is testament to the power of farmer knowledge exchange. This simple yet disruptive innovation is the first technology of its kind to offer farmers the ability to share and promote their own innovative ideas via SMS and online – rather than receive information from the top down.

As we continue to develop further digital tools alongside our in-person network of Centres of Excellence, our partnership with Wefarm continues to be vital. Not only does Wefarm substantiate our producer-led model, but it also shows us what can be achieved hand-in-hand with the private technology sector.

Creating the concept

Wefarm’s founding team at Producers Direct brought farmers together to think about what they really needed – not only from agriculture but from each other. The result was a digital tool that is not only necessary, but also relevant and accessible to the farmers in our network – and beyond.

The initial WeFarm prototype was designed and piloted in partnership with four smallholder producer communities across Kenya, Tanzania and Peru. The pilot project took place in stages, introducing new users, languages and countries at each stage. The final, most advanced stage involved communication between smallholders across all three countries in English, Spanish and Swahili.

In 2014 Producers Direct won the Google Impact Challenge for creating the concept of WeFarm. With this funding, Wefarm was able to launch as an independent social enterprise in early 2015. It is now an independent company backed by venture capital. Producers Direct remains a strong partner and significant shareholder in Wefarm

What is Wefarm and where is it now?

Wefarm, the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network, lets small-scale farmers connect with one another to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation. Utilising the latest machine learning technology, Wefarm’s service works both online and over SMS. Knowledge shared on Wefarm can help farmers to produce higher quality product, increase yields, gain insight into marketing pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, source the best seeds, fertiliser and loans, diversify agricultural interests, and much more.

Since its founding as an independent entity in 2015, Wefarm has been named one of Africa’s Most Innovative Companies by FastCompany and has won Mobile World Congress’ 4YFN pitch, TechCrunch’s Europas-Tech for Good Award, and the European Union Commission’s Ideas from Europe prize, among many others. The company is headquartered in London with field presence in Nairobi and Kampala.

For more information on what Wefarm is up to right now and how you can get involved, please see http://wefarm.org, follow Wefarm on Twitter @we_farm and connect with Wefarm on Facebook and LinkedIn