‘We can reach thousands of people with just one click.’
The founder of the Lersha online platform aims to harness digitalisation to revolutionise agriculture in Ethiopia. He successfully launched the start-up in the middle of the pandemic. The Green Innovation Centre supported him all the way, from the initial idea to the launch. GIZ developed the Green Innovation Centre as part of the BMZ special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger.
What gave you the initial idea for Lersha?
Even before the coronavirus hit, Ethiopian farmers had problems accessing inputs, tools and services from contractors to plough their fields by tractor. The pandemic, and the restrictions it has brought, has further aggravated the situation. That gave me the idea of developing an online one-stop market platform offering farmers agricultural inputs and services.
How does the platform work?
Lersha combines a smartphone app, a call centre and Lersha agents. They act as a bridge between the platform and the farmers who are unfamiliar with digital technology. They record what the farmers need, deal with registration on the platform, and place orders with a farm service centre or service provider. We guarantee same-day delivery.
What are the advantages of Lersha in the current situation?
Our service allows farmers to avoid unnecessary travel and contacts. And we can reach thousands of people in rural areas with just one click. In 2020, Lersha sent more than 27,100 text messages alerting farmers to important information about stem rust and migratory locusts.