New initiative (startup)
SmartAg uses web and mobile (USS, SMS and voice) technologies to avail real-time weather and agronomic data to agriculture field officers, farmers and ag retailers thereby improving precision farming and allowing ample time to mitigate against risks posed by erratic weather patterns among small holder farmers. The platform also provides a monitoring tool that incorporates weather and agronomy in computing the growth stage of a crop and gives pointers and alerts on disease and pests to watch out for depending on crop, growth stage and prevailing weather.
SmartAg incorporates insurance by advising small holder farmers and insurance agencies on weather projections hence improving insurance uptake and assured income for the farmers. SmartAg analyses the stage of the crop using scientifically vetted agronomic models and raises alerts on pests and disease to watch out for. The agronomy model incorporates analyses of weather trends in the past 10 years and graphs them against prevailing weather conditions for a given geolocation. This graphical display of past versus present clearly informs on deviation from norm and educates on whether a farmer should maintain the current crop or shift to a different one better suited for their location. SmartAg’s communication module incorporates both SMS and voice technology to send out weather forecast messages to registered farmers. These messages are easily customizable and can be relayed in languages easily understood by the final weather information consumers: small holder farmers.
SmartAg avails an easy to set up and customize call center functionality to enable farmers to call in and select the kind of help they need. In addition to these SmartAg provides a simple survey tool which an agriculture field officer or organization can easily use to carry out surveys via mobile phones and analyse responses and download them in PDF formats. The market component to be integrated into SmartAg will provide a convergence point for both the farmer and the buyer. This component will aggregate current market prices and inform the farmer. It will also aggregate agricultural produce orders from buyers and alert farmers via SMS where their produce is needed. On the flip side this component will also be used by government, manufacturers, NGOs and potential produce buyers to be able to understand where their target produce is grown and also be informed on the estimated maturity date. This will greatly facilitate planning especially in the manufacturing industry. This will act as a great shot in the arm for the government especially in improving food security since the weather aspect will help the government restock in the event of anticipated crop failure.
Target Counties: Bungoma, kakamega, Kitui, Makueni, Tharaka Nithi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu
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