Digital Farming in Kenya

Use of Mobile Phones in the Agriculture Sector of Kenya

Farmers in Kenya now have the capacity to get crucial commodity price information without having to drive long distances to market thanks to mobile phones, farm implements, and other types of agricultural machinery. A mobile phone provider’s usage of short message service (SMS) text messaging allows the speedy transmission of precise information on agricultural product wholesale and retail pricing. In this way, farmers are better able to bargain with market merchants and better able to time the arrival of their agricultural goods on the market. SokoniSMS64 is one of the most widely used systems in Kenya that provides farmers with real-time market pricing from various locations of the country.

In Kenya, a relatively new idea called “pay as you plant” is using mobile phones to provide a kind of insurance. Kilimo Salama, which means “safe agriculture” in Swahili, is a micro-insurance company that covers farmers in the case of weather-related losses. Dealers sell the insurance by scanning a code with a camera phone and collecting policy details through a phone app. Customers get this information once it has been compiled. Safaricom’s mobile cloud-based server, which is responsible for policy management, receives the information. Farmers will be able to get information about their insurance and payments based on rainfall amounts through SMS messages in the future. In this method, there is no need for paper and it is completely automated.

Farmers can now better manage their crops thanks to mobile technology, which provides them with access to important meteorological data. M-iCow Farm’s mobile phone application claims to be the first cow calendar created exclusively for use on mobile devices. Keeping track of each cow’s gestation time ensures producers never miss out on the opportunity to expand their herd size. In addition, iCow keeps track of feed types and schedules, as well as local veterinarians’ names and contact information, as well as the current market price of cattle.

Technological innovation in the agriculture sector of Kenya

The agricultural sector’s reliance on agricultural machinery and technological innovation for expansion and productivity is only going to get stronger. The use of ICT in agriculture provides a more efficient and cost-effective means of knowledge exchange than conventional approaches on a larger scale. Data on pests and diseases, current weather, and market price are all readily available to Kenyan farmers, who may use this knowledge to their advantage. Farmers and extension workers who are unable to visit the fields as often as they would like might benefit from improved communication thanks to this new technology as well. Farmers, extension workers, academics, and policymakers all need to work together more effectively to increase agricultural output.

A number of issues must be considered while considering the implementation of mobile technologies in Kenya. When designing new technology, it is critical to consider how it will be utilized, as well as the people who will be using it. In Kenya, it is impossible to locate a single piece of software or technology that works in every situation. While certain regions may easily embrace tablets with advanced apps, others may find that obtaining information through SMS is a more effective strategy. Any kind of advanced technology is not required. Some situations necessitate the creation of an Excel spreadsheet and the subsequent distribution of the file through Dropbox.

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