Kenyan innovators are betting on virtual technologies to draw younger people to an agriculture enterprise that currently is ruled with the aid of a getting older populace. With a ninety-eight percentage cell telephone penetration, in step with the today’s data from the Communications Authority of Kenya, the cellular phone is proving to be a critical source of extension offerings in regions in which such sources aren’t available.
As a young female in central Kenya, Peninah Wanja witnessed firsthand the venture of raising farm animals without professional help.
“Growing up On a farm, my mom had two cows. They have been poorly managed. They yielded cups of milk,” said Wanja.
As a working towards extension officer, Wanja observed gaps in statistics made farmers depend on trial and mistakes of their day-to-day activities. The consequences yielded low productiveness.
“It’s a gap that I noticed because while you study statistics and the character this is at the ground, our government has provided one extension officer for near four,000 farmers. So, there may be truly a need for these critical services,” said Wanja.
Wanja got here up with DigiCow, a cellular phone application that gives professional advice to farmers and permits them to keep updated records on their cows.
Stanley Kamau was the various early users of the app. Now, a yr because its release and nearly a yr due to the fact he began using it, he talks of expanded milk yields, healthier herds, and a nicely-prepared farm.
“They were given a platform at the app, where for instance, in the course of the time for mating, you keep your information. Then, you get to recognize whilst your cow will calf down. But inside the antique way, we used to take dates, and also you do the bulk work of counting down. But with the Digi app, it’s miles helpful because it sends you a reminder on whilst your cow will calf down,” stated Kamau.
Eighty percent of Kenya’s population is made from small-scale farmers, in line with the World Bank. DigiCow is an instance of how generation may be used to bridge the knowledge gaps within the farming zone, at the same time as at the equal time, making sure food safety. It is also a way of encouraging Kenya’s unemployed adolescents to soak up farming, in line with Boniface Akuku, records, and communications expert based totally in Nairobi.
“Research says the common age of a Kenyan farmer is 60, which is nearly a retired individual. That individual has no strength, so what we need is what I might call mindset philosophy. We want to alternate the minds of our human beings to inspire young human beings to have interaction into farming. Otherwise, if that doesn’t change, the uptake of these technologies will be 0,” stated Boniface.
Mobile-based totally solutions
With mobile cellphone subscribers in Kenya, cell-based solutions make sense, as records can reach tens of millions of human beings, at the same time as on the same time, converting the way Kenyans farm, said Boniface.
“African agriculture ought to be disrupted, and we have no two ways approximately it. Even if we do no longer disrupt it via era, already climate is disrupting it,” he said.
To deal with problems of illiteracy, DigiCow has a voice-primarily based service — which Wanja says has confirmed beneficial to the older farmer.