4 Mobile Applications That Enable Farmers to Stay Connected in Kenya
Africa’s rural population stands at 60% of its 1.216 billion people. As such, the economy is inherently dependent on agriculture. More than 32% of the continent’s gross domestic product comes from the sector. Agriculture in Africa accounts for two thirds of livelihoods and food accounts for two thirds of the household budgets of less privileged people.
Africa has huge potential, not only to feed itself, eliminate hunger as per Sustainable Development Goal 2 and enable food security, but to also be a player in the global food market. This potential is in the human capital, it’s land and water, the knowledge, both indigenous and learnt and the huge markets that surround the continent. There needs to be ways to be able to modernize agriculture in Africa and make it the food basket of the world.
For a continent that heavily depends on the rain and old manual methods of collecting data, newer and methods of agriculture should be considered. In light of this, there are many mobile applications that have been created by brilliant minds. These applications enable agribusinesses in Kenya to connect with each other, manage stock and payment, farmer profiling. Connect with a vet and/or enhance the collection of produce.
M-Farm – https://www.mfarm.co.ke/
M-Farm is a very popular application among Kenyan farmers. Farmers wondering when is the best time to plant depending on the market prices will find this application very useful. This is determined by the team who are able to analyse market prices of produce in the country. The application is also able to engage buyers together when the farmers produce is ready. This is very effective as it reduces the number of middle men and enhances transparency in business.
iCow – http://www.icow.co.ke/
iCow is an easily accessible application that does not require a smart phone. This is cost effective for small holder farmers who may not have access to a smart phone. The application is able to assist cattle farmers to improve their productivity. This is by sending them relevant text messages which are full of important information and instructions. This reduces risk for farmer. For other farmers, the application also has information on soil fertility, poultry, eggs and crops, which is helping farmers improve their farms.
DigiFarm offers small holding farmers access to not only valuable agricultural information but also financial services. This services include discounted products, access to credit and other financial facilities. Services offered through this application decrease the cost and increase the quality of a farmers’ inputs.
Safaricom Connected Farmer http://www.mezzanineware.com/agriculture/
Connected Farmer helps agribusinesses and small holding farmers share information and transact. The App is able to find available farms in their locality, connects farmers to ready buyers and helps farmers get access to recent trends, tips, solutions and funding to boost their agribusinesses. Connected farmer is able to lowers the cost and risk involved in transacting with small holder farmers, inform on decision making with readily available field data, increased efficiency, productivity and transparency in the Agriculture value chain, enhance small holder farmer trust in the Agribusiness system and reduced side selling and enable production increase which improves economies of scale.
The development of Agricultural software application in Africa is a sure way to help small holding farmers and agribusinesses in Kenya by reducing risk and giving them easy access to information.