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New marketing strategy escalates revenue from organic produce

Efforts to increase demand for organic produce in the country have received a boost after the successful completion of an organic awareness campaign via influencer marketing on various social media platforms.

The influencer marketing campaign dubbed ‘Kilimohai organic’ spearheaded by Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) has seen sales of organic farm produce generate Sh. 15 million in revenue in two years in selected organic retail outlets in Kenya.

Kilimohai Organic under the Organic Lifestyle Influencer Approach (OLIA) project was being implemented by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) in collaboration with KOAN and WOWZI Technologies Limited to raise awareness on healthier eating and promote the consumption of organic foods in the country through organic promotion on social media.

KOAN Programmes Officer Martin Njoroge, while speaking to stakeholders during the end-of-project unveiling meeting in Nairobi said that for the last two years, under the implementation of the OLIA project, sales of organic foods purchased at selected retail outlets hit a record high as compared to previous years.

“Kilimohai organic influencer marketing project started in July 2021 and concluded in December 2023. During this period, the organization has seen a surge in sales of organic foods,” said Njoroge

He further said they were able to see additional revenue of about Sh. 5.3 million from the different outlets in three months, a growth from what they had in previous years.

KOAN Programmes Officer Martin Njoroge while speaking to stakeholders during the end-of-project unveiling meeting in Nairobi.

Njoroge divulged that under the implementation of the OLIA project, over 5 million consumers were reached through various social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and X (Formerly Twitter).

KOAN was able to build ‘farm influencers’ from their organic farmer’s pool in Kenya, who are now able to command followings to boost engagement and followership to generate demand for organic foods on their various social media platforms

FiBL digital marketing and educationalist expert, Maestrini Nicoletta said that joint projects of FiBL and KOAN have been important drivers for the development of the organic market in Kenya.

“Influencer marketing campaigns create consumer awareness and generate demand,” said Nicoletta, adding that this stimulates healthier diets for consumers while promoting environmentally friendly and income-enhancing agricultural production in the country.

She said that FiBL would like to capitalize on the positive outcomes of the project through a possible ‘regional project’ in East Africa that would create consumer awareness and generate demand for organic foods.

“The successful implementation of the OLIA project has laid the foundation of promoting regional exchange and trade, strengthening participatory guarantee systems farmer group training and certification, and expanding consumer awareness activities,” she said.

WOWZI Technologies representative Lilian Mbithe said they created an influencer marketing platform designed to help KOAN automate influencer marketing workflow and programs to run Kilimohai organic campaign among other tasks.

“40 organic farmers were selected and trained to create social media accounts, create awareness of sustainable organic farming practices to increase organic sales of farmers through organic promotion on social media platforms’ she said.

Further, she noted that over 200 content creators in Kenya were contracted to upgrade their influencer profile on social media platforms with organic contents and run a campaign for healthy, organic foods to generate demand.

Social media has become an integral part of our daily life in Kenya, with millions of people actively engaging on various platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and X.

Statistics, according to GWI (Q3 2022) show that some of the commonly used social media platforms in Kenya by individuals aged between 16 and 64 years include Facebook (17.5 percent), TikTok (17 percent), Instagram (12.6 percent) and Twitter (8.5 percent).

Solomon Njoroge Ndegwa a youthful organic farmer in Gatundu, Kiambu county with expertise in organic agriculture speaking at the event said the genesis of his farm influencer journey started when he took part in a comprehensive training session on social media under OLIA project.

“I learnt my first campaign brief which was aimed at raising awareness on the organic sustainable supply system, and further shedding light on how farmers transport their organic produce to retail outlets in Nairobi,” he said.

Ndegwa opined that implementation of the teaching of the project has expanded his facebook presence and witnessed remarkable growth from 1000 followers to 3700 followers.

“One can become a champion by joining Kilimohai organic community and create positive impact on people around the world by using some of the hashtags  #Getorganified #Iamorganified #kilimohai on facebook and twitter @kilimohai_ke @koankenya.

Kilimohai organic certified products are cultivated without the use of toxic chemicals. They embody the aspiration to foster a healthier wholesome way of life.

Kilimohai is a trusted standard mark of certified organic produce originating from Kenya and East Africa. The Kenyan Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN) supervises and authorizes the use of this mark in Kenya.

By Anita Omwenga

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