CIO 2013 Global Award for Technology Innovation


Juhudi Kilimo is proud to have won the exclusive CIO 2013 Global Award for Technology and Innovation. This award honours Juhudi Kilimo for demonstrating excellence and achievement in using technology and innovation to reach out and provide finances to small-holder farmers in rural Kenya to start rural enterprises. Our CEO, Nat Robinson, attended the CIO 100 Symposium and Awards Ceremony that was held on August 11 to August 13 in Colorado Springs, Colorado USA. The event was sponsored by CIO Magazine’s under the category of CIO 100 Honourees for Technology Innovation.

Juhudi Kilimo, like most micro-finance institutions, tracks information of its constituents and clients, their records and other different kinds of information, in lots of different places. To aid this, Juhudi Kilimo has adopted Salesforce program, which provides a centralized platform where we can find everything we need when we need it. The information ranges from contacts and companies of the smallholder farmers to new leads and program records. Salesforce runs on cloud, so Juhudi Kilimo has equipped MFOs in the fields with tablet PCs since all they need is a computer or a mobile device to access it. The tablets are also issued with the offline mode application which comes in handy in areas with weak network signals. Through Salesforce, Juhudi Kilimo is able to offer good customer care as it allows for personalization of profiles of individual farmers and their groups as well as quick organized access to individual records. This way, the farmers can enquire about their account information and it can be obtained immediately. It also saves a lot of time thus quicker and more efficient processing of loans. This technology eliminates high costs and risks associated with the traditional process. The integrated solutions allow Juhudi Kilimo to work more efficiently and increase the value of each part of the customer life cycle.Moreover, Salesforce analytics and its reporting functions give Juhudi Kilimo the ability to expand campaign capacity and as a result increased productivity.

Juhudi Kilimo also adopted echo-mobile which is a web-based platform that allows Juhudi Kilimo to communicate with rural smallholder farmers via SMS. SMS are free to clients and Juhudi Kilimo absorbs all the costs. Juhudi Kilimo can also provide clients with a specified amount of airtime as an incentive for responding to surveys or other communication. Echo-mobile is a tool that can be used to create a variety of surveys and alerts and real-time results are easily viewed and exported. Additionally, it can be used to schedule relevant alerts and reminders, or setup tracking, and receive client-initiated communication through an inbox. Echo-mobile also enables easy mobile number collection through self-registration, circumventing inefficiencies and inaccuracies inherent to paper-based phone collection.