With agriculture and technology high on the agenda this week in Africa, underpinned by the ICT4Ag Summit being hosted in Kigali, Rwanda, there are reports of how technology is making a radical difference to the lives of farmers in key regions.
One news agency, cajnews Africa, has explained how one mobile service, M-Farm, enables mainly small-scale commercial farmers to source data on the retail price of their produce, engage directly with manufacturers and link up with potential buyers of their stock.
Safaricom subscribers can use the service by sending an SMS to the number 2025. It is reportedly also available to android users in the applications store under the Utility category, claims cajnews Africa.
The ability to deal directly with suppliers and manufacturers without having to rely on third party intermediaries is a major benefit.
According to the report, in the past, farmers had to deal with these parties to source information about product. With the ability to link to a homepage via a mobile application, farmers are able to stay ahead of trends and use credible information to make critical business decisions, including the right time to go to market with produce.
Farmer John Kiprop is quoted as saying, “Have benefited a lot from the service. It has enabled me to carry out market timing and dispose off his product when the demand and prices are high. All I have to do is monitor the market trend through my phone and dispose my product when prices are favourable.”
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