We all know food and food security depends on agriculture.
So to ensure food security, agriculture is one sector that has to be taken really seriously.
It’s thrilling to see a technology-driven African innovations improving the lives of those living in remote areas and also improving food security.
The one thing you might be aware of is that the dairy industry in Kenya is huge, being made up of 1.6 million farmers. Meaning that in order to maintain the stats of that industry, a lot of cattle farmers have to be very cautions of how they handle and care for the cattles.
Which is why one person saw the opportunity to salvage the situation and jumped at it.
Su Kahumbu is a female Kenyan farmer who conceptualized iCow, an app that works on the type of basic mobile phone to send SMS reminders to farmers about information on how to improve their farming ways.
She noticed that small-scale farmers living in remote areas don’t have access to valuable information about latest prices of milk or cattle, and they may lose track of gestation period or cattle immunisation periods, which often leads to diseases affecting the livestock and food security.
The app is helpful to farmers as they can keep track of the milking cycle, milk production of the cattles, incomes, and soil fertility to reduce livestock mortality and poverty.
It also connect farmers to vital players in their agricultural ecosystem. Including agricultural financial service providers. Veterinary experts and NGO’s.
To make it even more advance, the app was designed even for the most basic feature phones as you may know that the older-style feature phones in Africa outnumbers smartphones, and it is available in different languages depending on the country of deployment.
Originally, the farming tips have been shared from generation to generation but the improvement of healthy livestock is something that has not taken a positive turn, which is why the iCow app was implemented and many farmers are using it, so as to improve the healthy livestock at the same time teaching people about farming.
Let’s say for example you have cattles and you’re a farmer, each cow would be registered with the service, which then would send SMS reminders about milking schedules, immunisation and other important information. Pretty cool isn’t it?
One of the app’s clients who is a farmer is Thuo, who started using iCow in 2011 an since then he has been gained more knowledge on cattles, hygiene, animal diseases and has seen significant changes in his yields as well as the health of his animals.
“One cow now produces 31 litres of milk compared to only previously producing half that amount when at maximum production. I am now looking to expand into pig farming.” Thuo expressed.
The wonderful thing with iCow is that by the time you have used the app and adhered to all the instructions, your cows end up healthier, bigger and stronger; and they can easily make you more money in the marketplace
It is without a question how much this innovation is and has been helping farmers improve their businesses and also improving food security.
Which is why more and more inventions re needed in Africa, not only that but the ones invented by Africans so as to show the world what the African continent is capable of.
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