The 2018 grand prize winner of the MTN Business App of the year competition was Khula! – a supply chain solution for emerging farmers, connecting them directly to the formal marketplace.
Khula! creates ‘one big virtual farm’ consisting of multiple emerging farms to crowd-source and deliver on bulk orders to supermarkets, restaurant chains and for home delivery. The full software suite includes an e-commerce web platform where clients place orders from farmers, and an uber-type logistics solution that allows independent contractors to complete deliveries.
As well as connecting producers to customers and sharing a cold chain delivery, Khula! allows emerging farmers to access low-cost inputs through group buying. It also provides access to a community of experts with advice and mentorship essential for a growing agri-business.
Based in Gauteng, the app already boasts a network of 500 active farmers, and over R300 000 was traded in the pilot phase of the project. It lowers the risks for smaller farmers, and lessens food waste.
The developers of Khula! have won a trip to Silicon Valley in the US valued at R200 000.
A panel of judges, comprising industry experts, app developers, and previous winners, sifted through heaps of entries and spent two days quizzing the short-listed candidates. Following this grueling process, the judges selected this year’s victors who join an elite club of previous winners, whose apps have become household names in South Africa.
In addition to taking the top spot overall, the Khula! app also won in the Best Agriculture Solution category.
“It is very exciting and encouraging to see the high levels of talent and innovation in the local app development space. We are also very proud to see the MTN Business App of the Year Awards growing in stature helping us provide a powerful and enabling platform for app developers. The competition gives us the opportunity to showcase these innovative solutions, and to assist these innovators in their journey to commercialise their apps, contributing towards much-needed job creation in South Africa. It is also about bringing home-grown innovations closer to the rest of the world,” said Wanda Matandela, MTN Business’ chief enterprise officer.