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Campus Vibe
Graduates’ App Connects Farmers to Agricultural Service Providers
By Fredrick Oginga | Updated Oct 19, 2017 at 08:52 EAT
graduates-app-connects-farmers-to-agricultural-service-providers
ConviFarm App is a mobile application platform
SUMMARY
  • Two university graduates have developed a mobile application that helps farmers, agricultural companies and research institutions to easily access complete agricultural information.
  • They have also developed an analytics dashboard that helps in monitoring specific inputs farmers’ require during certain periods hence helping agricultural companies in making informed service delivery decisions.

Norman Munge and Mburu Njunge have developed a mobile application that helps farmers, agricultural companies and research institutions to easily access complete agricultural information and support services offered within their region.

Norman, an IT graduate from Strathmore University and Mburu, a Kenyatta University graduate developed and launched the platform two years ago while still in university.

According to Norman, having stayed in one of the remote villages within Nakuru County, the team who have worked together for more than eight years noted that farmers had a common problem in accessing services ranging from veterinary to crop protection.

They, thus, thought of how best they could utilise their knowledge and skills to come up with solutions to the problems back home.

“ConviFarm is a USSD and SMS based mobile application platform that provides relevant information to farmers based on their needs and areas of residence,” states Norman adding that “farmers are able to get a variety of spray programs for various crops if need be, make a choice based on their own preference and contact the agricultural service providers from the comfort of their farms.”

The team has also developed an analytics dashboard that helps in monitoring specific inputs farmers’ require during certain periods hence helping agricultural companies in making informed service delivery decisions.

“When a farmer is in need of a service, they dial a unique number on mobile which then triggers a conversation between the application and the user. The farmer is then asked to select from a drop-down list-a specific region of interest. A choice on region prompts the App to display types of farming and ask the farmer to make a choice.

After settling on a specific type of farming, the application displays relevant information that corresponds to the specific needs of a region and provides a contact list of various service providers within the area,” explains Mburu.

The innovators came up with a revenue model that will ensure that its operations remain sustainable. Mburu notes that though they offer crucial information to farmers for free, they have developed low-cost mobile exhibition and mapping services for agricultural companies such as feed suppliers, hive distributors, low cost green houses among others.

ConviFarm scooped the top prize in the Waterloo University Agribusiness mobile Tech challenge held at Strathmore University’s iLabAfrica last year.

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