Five useful apps to help you farm smarter
Farmers in Kenya are getting empowered everyday through innovative technologies that is helping them reduce costs, maximise yields and profits, and still be incredibly efficient.
Here are five mobile apps and websites making farming life easier to farmers in Kenya;
Farmers vow to boycott maize farming over poor prices
DigiCow targets smallholder farmers and enterprise engaged in dairy farming, enabling the farmer to increase profits through data driven decision making. The app is accessed and installed from google play store, with the farmer required to register and secure his information with a pin.
The next thing is for the farmer to key in data to capture cow details, milk production, milk sales, health breeding and feeding information. The app is designed to use data and feedback production, financial reports, breeding and health reports.
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NAFIS is an information service developed by the National Agriculture and Livestock Extension Programme (NALEP) to enable farmers get extension information simply by calling the service or browsing the NAFIS website.
NAFIS displays free market prices on their website although sometimes the information is not updated, it provides a relatively accurate picture of prices on the ground.
Market prices of vegetables are usually dodgy in Kenya especially when brokers are involved so these figures are usually there to guide you on what to expect.
Maize farmers yet to receive Sh1billion released by government
FarmDrive connects you to loans and financial management tools, all through your mobile phone. FarmDrive does this through a credit score, generated by an algorithm developed by the team. The algorithm relies on data-sets collected from the farmers through their mobile phones, alternative data and machine learning.
Budget Mkononi is a web-based agricultural budgeting tool that allows young farmers to plan and budget for their farm. It is a joint initiative of Mercy Corps AgriFin Accelerate programme and The Mediae Company that was developed by Regulus Ltd. Budget Mkononi was initially designed to enhance the financial literacy on the TV show, Don’t Lose the Plot, created and produced by Mediae.
Through the budgeting tool, users can identify the basic costs and elements required to set up and run their farming enterprise, along with revenue flows and timelines.
By entering their crop and acreage, the user receives detailed information stretching from seed prices, planting dates, best practice tips and a detailed timetable of crop growth. The tool is optimised for mobile phone connections and is specifically targeted at the youth, in order to encourage them to view farming as a viable and sustainable career venture.
Digital Farmers Kenya is a Facebook group aimed at encouraging members to exchange farming ideas and latest farming technologies that can improve farming practices. Farmers are also able to sell their farm produce through the group by posting pictures and exchanging contacts.
[Joseph Boit, the writer, is the brains behind the Graduate Farmer website and the 2017 BAKE Award Agriculture category winner]