Technology has been touted as the future of industries as it improves efficiency and solves problems.
The agricultural sector has not been left behind in embracing the latest agricultural techniques for profitable crop and animal production.
The mobile phone, the world’s most common means of communication, is increasingly shaping the ways information is shared in the agricultural sector.
Nutrisource Kenya, a profit organisation with roots in Singapore and India has designed an advisory app called farm Santa that provides intervention to farmers at all stages of crop life from soil preparation to pest control.
Small-scale farmers normally just plant blindly with zero information on the crops they are engaging, this app is very timely and necessary for farmers to access step-by-step advisory from the best agronomists in the worldGeorge Okwirry
In Kenya, the organization’s headquarters is in Westlands Nairobi.
The app aims at making farming easier and more profitable with farmers getting good yields from their work.
Speaking to the press in Bungoma during the Bungoma County trade fair, George Okwirry the farm Santa representative said that there was a need for farmers to get enough information on the Crops they plant in order to maximize the yields.
“Small-scale farmers normally just plant blindly with zero information on the crops they are engaging, this app is very timely and necessary for farmers to access step-by-step advisory from the best agronomists in the world,” he said.
The app can be downloaded on the play store and is free of charge,” the farmer only needs to have data to access information from the app, zero payments are made for our services and therefore this cuts down on the cost of learning for farmers,” he noted.
The farm Santa app has the following features;
Cropping and activity plan -enables farmers to choose at least 3 types of crops they want to plant, this will determine the design of advice based on the selected crops.
Soil health-this includes soil testing which according to Mr Okwirry, it is a very important step that most farmers forego.
Fertilizer calculator – this feature helps farmers determine the exact amount of fertilizer needed for a given acre of land, it also depends on the type of crop planted.
Advisory- this feature allows farmers to ask questions or advice from agronomists by taking a picture of the affected crop and uploading it to the app, they then receive a response on what action to be taken on the crops after 24 hours.
“It also has a social feature just like Facebook where farmers can interact and exchange ideas and also teach each other,” said Okwirry.
In Africa, the organisation has bases in Rwanda, Uganda, Togo, Tanzania, Zambia and now Kenya.
According to Okwirry, farmers need to be equipped with enough knowledge in the field of farming that they practice as a way of promoting sustainable farming for marginal farmers.
We won’t have to go to agro vets for consultations or pay people for information, this app is a one-stop solution and will equip us with enough knowledge to carry out sustainable farmingSusan Nakhumincha
“Today we are here to spread awareness of the app to farmers and teach them on how to use it to their own benefit,” he said.
Farmers were excited to familiarize themselves with the app saying that it will help solve most of their farm troubles in the comfort of their homes.
“We won’t have to go to agro vets for consultations or pay people for information, this app is a one-stop solution and will equip us with enough knowledge to carry out sustainable farming,” said Susan Nakhumicha, one of the farmers who received training on how to navigate the farm Santa app.
The event saw farmers and traders from different sectors displaying their products and offering fast-hand interactions with clients.