On NINAYO’s first visit to Bukulu village, in September 2019, the farmers somberly told us of how their previous maize harvest had been destroyed by army worm. The farmers were wary of NINAYO and unenthusiastic- reasonably so.

I promised them that we would supply seeds, pesticides and fertilizers of the highest quality- at a discounted rate. I was prepared to lose money on this offer. Because I sincerely wanted to help, sure, but also because I needed to gain the villages trust. …

Imagine you are typical East African farmer: You survive on what you can grow from the ground, and what you can sell that crop for. The money from that sale is what you put your kids through school with, how you pay for medicine, how you survive. Your entire tribe around you are also farmers, and it’s a tradition going back for generations.

I spoke with a trusted NINAYO advisor last week, and she pointed out how few women were featured in of our recent training pictures.

Dodoma Farmers Meeting

She was right to point this out- our most recent training had zero women attending. Fortunately, our team had already developed a plan to address this. But before we share that, here are four reasons why we think it is important to invest in a female engagement strategy for our products:

1. We feel a social responsibility to empower women in East Africa.

2. While women may not often do the physical sales transactions in Tanzanian…

Greetings NINAYO friends,

2019 was our best year yet. We made significant impact in the lives of some of the world’s poorest and hardest working people. As we begin 2020, our company is scaling those services, as well as building an exciting new product.

Context

Today NINAYO is delivering agro inputs to maize farmers in the Dodoma region of Tanzania, as it has for hundreds of farmers this season. What is so special about this? For starters, last year the maize harvests of these farmers were wiped out by worms that attacked their seeds and left them hungry and indebted.

Greetings NINAYO friends,

2019 was our best year yet. We made significant impact in the lives of some of the world’s poorest and hardest working people. As we begin 2020, our company is scaling those services, as well as building an exciting new product.

Context

Today NINAYO is delivering agro inputs to maize farmers in the Dodoma region of Tanzania, as it has for hundreds of farmers this season. What is so special about this? For starters, last year the maize harvests of these farmers were wiped out by worms that attacked their seeds and left them hungry and indebted.

A husband and wife are camping on safari. Emerging from their tent they see a blood thirty lion charging right towards them across the savannah. The wife starts putting on her running shoes and the husband exclaims, “What are you doing, honey?! You can’t outrun a lion!”

The wife replies, “I only need to outrun you”.

It’s an old joke. And it’s a fitting metaphor for today’s cryptocurrency adoption strategy.

Cryptocurrency is the dopey husband that thinks it needs to fight the lion to survive.

The lion represents the world’s dominant financial systems: it’s the US dollar, the federal reserve…

This May I flew to Zug, Switzerland, to meet up with my “Blockchain Guru”. For the sake of his privacy, I’m going to refer to him as “BG”. And yeah, it’s an inflated titThe year before we had been working on different startups in the same accelerator. I overheard he was into Bitcoin and recorded an interview with him. The price was hitting all time highs, around $2,200, and I wanted him to tell me if I should buy.

“I never tell anybody to buy or not” he said, and proceeded to Socratically lead me on a three hour discussion…

Bitcoin and M-Pesa each spawned their own massive payment industries over the last ten years. Cryptocurrency, the industry of Bitcoin, reached a market cap of $822B in 2018. Mobile money, the industry of M-Pesa, processed an average of $1B per day in 2017. Both Bitcoin and M-Pesa remain the market leaders in their respective industries.

Comparing their impacts over this last decade, it is indisputable that mobile money today exhibits much greater product market fit than cryptocurrency, which has almost zero utility in the daily lives of its users. Crypto’s primary function is to accumulate wealth, transfer wealth in stealth…

My best friend wanted investment advice. “Something safe and long term. But also a little interested in some more risky investments.”

There’s an investing rule of thumb that you should subtract your age from 100 — and that’s the percentage of your portfolio that you should keep in stocks. For example, if you’re 30, you should keep 70% of your portfolio in stocks. If you’re 70, you should keep 30% of your portfolio in stocks.

I’d amend this and replace stocks with cryptocurrency. And you can do this yourself, without a broker.

Here’s why it’s a good idea in April…

Over the past year Samson Laizer has become an essential part of the NINAYO team. He started as one of our Grassroots promoters, and volunteered to quit the job because he was not hitting his numbers. I was impressed by his honesty and quickly found him a better suited role in the organization for him spearheading quality control.

Samson knows almost all the 30,000 farmers and buyers on the NINAYO network. He calls dozens of them each day to see how they are doing and make sure they are getting the best prices available on NINAYO.

Samson is an all…

Jack Langworthy

CEO of @NINAYOcom, East Africa's online trading platform for agriculture. Dedicated to building great technology in emerging markets.

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