New mobile service a boost to local farmers
06 November 2013, 17:41
Nairobi - Local farmers are enjoying the immense benefits of the M-Farm service, a locally-developed offering aimed at empowering mostly small-scale commercial farmers.
The offering, which M-Farm Limited developed last year, enables the farmers get information on retail price of their farm produce and purchase agricultural inputs directly from the manufacturers without intermediaries.
Farmers are also able to find potential buyers for their products.
Through the service, users of Safaricom, the leading mobile network operator, can access such information by sending a message via the Short Service Message (SMS) to the number 2025.
The free service is also available to android users in the applications store under the Utility Category.
Farmers said they had benefited immensely from the service as they no longer relied on the services of the intermediaries to get information about their products. As such, they can now monitor market prices before deciding on the appropriate time to dispose their produce.
Previously, farmers had complained intermediaries capitalized on farmers’ ignorance on trends to exploit them.
John Kiprop, a small scale commercial farmer commended the M-Farm initiative.
“I 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 favorable,” he said.
Michael Hailu, the Director of Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation, cited M-Farm as an example of timely innovations that provided solutions to perennial problems.
“I encourage people to actively make contact with others who will be able to help with ideas and work on solutions such as the M-Farm application developed by an all-female team under the age of 30 from Kenya,” he added.
– CAJ News