2018 has started well for us. January has been an eventful month. We have completed important updates to our platform and our local operations. In early January we announced that will be focusing on trading livestock instead of breeding. The response from the community has been positive. We are now continuously buying and selling animals in the local markets in Somalia.
In January, we have set up our new company in Kenya to get closer to our operations. Kenya has been interesting for us for several reasons. First, we plan to expand our livestock operations to parts of Kenya. Second, Kenya is already the startup hub for East Africa and has good trading relationship with Somalia. We are moving all of our tech development and financial operations to our new Kenya based company.
This week have also bought new animals, camels and new goats in Somalia. Some of this animals are based at our farm outside Mogadishu and others at our farm in central Somalia.
Unfortunately, the drought season is back. Nothern parts of Somalia are currently under severe dry season but this is expected to expand to other parts of the country. This will be a difficult time for the nomads and will put a test on our operations. We have food available in Mogadishu but the logistics of transporting food between regions in Somalia is difficult and expensive. However, we expect this drought to have minimal effect on our local operations and we plan to increase the number of animals we will buy in the next 3 months.
We also appreciate that some of our users donated some of their animals in this month. Many nomads have lost their animals in the last droughts and will appreciate to get new animals. If you want to donate any of your animals, our local team will identify a deserving family, transfer the animals and send you pictures from the handover. You can easily donate any of your animals within the app.
We have also done several updates to the app. It is now easier to navigate and take important actions such as selling, gifting or donating animals. The app has become more informative too. We have added stats about the operation, market, impact and users. Unfortunately we have had some issues with processing online payments but we are working to fix that. It is still possible to buy animals.
We have been improving Ari.farm with the help of your feedback, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions to improve the platform.
Thank you to our community as always for your understanding and participation on this adventure!