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The Young Women Entrepreneurs Looking to Champion Africa
April 9, 2016
Africa’s agricultural potential is no secret. The World Bank estimates that the continent holds around 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, and has the potential to feed not only itself, but the rest of the world too. Yet the majority of African agriculture remains a poor man’s game as small-scale farmers struggle to overcome challenges that can transform their subsistence farming into profitable ventures.
Tanzanian Belinda Baraka (17) is one young entrepreneur who is looking to solve some of these challenges. Last year she started BITO Market, an online directory that allows farmers to connect with and sell their produce directly to end buyers. By cutting out the middlemen traditionally used in this process, farmers can gain a much greater share of the profits to reinvest into their farms. The platform also allows buyers to advertise their opportunities and place orders.
“I came up with this solution after discovering the problems many farmers encounter here in Tanzania. They want to sell their products but suffer as they are not sure of the availability in the market or the actual current prices at which products are sold. Middlemen who act as a current link or connection between farmers and buyers end up getting more profit than farmers,” she explained.
While Baraka said her company is still in the start-up face, within five years she hopes it will have a national presence.