Ntuha Services Ltd is a company that provide good and safe transport services to its customers. It is a founder of Ntuha ride which is a hailing transport service app that allows motor users to request for a boda boda (motor bike), taxi, or truck to get to their destinations safe and at lower prices. Ntuha recruits commercial motorcycle riders (boda boda), truck and taxi drivers and on board them on the platform. These provide transports services to people and commodities/produce. For the last two years Ntuha has been operating with registered 100 boda boda riders with 48 active riders and 1,200 platform users with 284 active customers request for transport services and transacting on the platform.
At the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, there were restrictions from the government of Uganda on movement of people from one location to another, farmers were not allowed to move with their produce but they were expected to transport there produce on trucks or boda bodas to the market places. Farmers and traders found it difficult to trust drivers and boda bodas with their produce/merchandise since they could not trace the transporters easily. A lot of farmers made great losses since their produce could hardly reach market. For example in Isingiro, the price of matooke batch went as low as u.gx 500/=. The same thing happened to traders; many went out of business due to lack of stock to sell.
In July 2020 FtF- IAM went into a partnership with Ntuha Services Ltd to address the challenges of poor transport services for agricultural produce from production areas to the market, inputs from market to production areas. Ntuha started sensitizing and marketing its products to individual boda bodas, and through boda boda associations, truck drivers through their association, individual Farmers and through farmers groups/cooperatives, and other commuters from different districts of south western Uganda. Boda bodas and drivers were sensitized on the importance of being on the platform, how to register on the platform. Farmers and other commuters were sensitized on how to use digital platform for Ntuha (to request for good and safe transport service and transact on the platform) even when they do not have smart phone. Ntuha designed USSD in to help rural farmers and other users who do not own a smartphone. We have seen an increase on the usage of the USSD platform with at least 10 rides a day completed through the USSD platform.
At the end of the quarter, Ntuha had on boarded an additional 459 riders/drivers and 9,019 farmers on the platform. The active riders and drivers increased from 48 to 207 riders/drivers. Active user also increased from 284 to 2,197 customers (both farmers and other commuters). This led to increased income of both Ntuha services since they get commission from every transaction made on the platform to at least monthly revenue of ugx 2,257,867 and ugx 49,811,167 for boda bodas due to increased customer base. More than 1,500 farmers from different districts of south western such as Mbarara, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Isingiro, Ibanda started requesting for services and transact on the digital platform for Ntuha entrusting Ntuha service providers with their produce and other commodities since they were sure to trace them in case of any challenge. 220 MT of beans, maize flour, irish, onions, 16 trucks of matooke, 71 boxes of tomatoes (at a value of more than ugx 400 million) have been transported from different areas of production to the markets which has not been the case before the intervention. This has made farmers and traders to make more profits in agricultural produce and IAM would like to see more of these changes in this partnership.
Farmers are now more comfortable to send their produce to the market with either Ntuha registered boda bodas (commercial motorcycle riders) or track drivers because they are sure of the safety of their produce even when they are not moving with it. They transport produce in large quantities at the same time and make more profits due to large quantities of produce being sold.