ConviFarm: Convenience in Precision farming through m-Agri
Convenience in connecting farmers to information and services to take on diverse enterprises through basic mobile phone (USSD & SMS) in order to reach the rural folk practicing farming who are mainly women. This is because despite the rural folk having the time, land resource and technical knowledge on agriculture, convenient access to complete info is a challenge because mass media usually cover one enterprise at a time, agricultural shows happen once in a while and where accessible from phone, the services are usually in bulk SMS, which may be costly and may not satisfy a user's specific needs.
Where does the information and services come from?
Agricultural research organizations/companies have extended research on various agricultural enterprises and offer services on the same; one such organization is honey care which sells hives and buys honey back from farmers, KALRO offer soil testing, and seed out grower opportunities and have several years of research on crops yet there remains a disconnect in access to such information by the public and more specifically, the rural folk.
Our solution entails making the information and services offered by agricultural companies available through USSD & SMS according to the location they offer these services from as per region. The user will receive an SMS and with the requested info as well as a contact of where to access the service as per his/her region.
We also have an analytics dashboard that monitors what is being accessed by farmers through our platform. Therefore organizations/companies can be able to make better informed decisions regarding service delivery targeting specific regions. For example, from our dashboard we can see that 30 farmers in Embu area accessed honey extraction services. From this information, a honey company can send more extraction specialists to that area.
The above screenshots show how our dashboard looks like
It also takes you through a digitized spray program which is one of the features we have under crop farming.
The SMS received states what spray to apply and will also give the phone number of an agro vet within your area.
We have tried to be as specific as possible and the same method has been replicated across the rest of the enterprises covered.
Customer Value Proposition
Primary customer: Agricultural Companies/Organization
What do they get?
Low cost USSD charges monthly since the companies are aggregated and share the cost of the USSD service.
Visibility of not so common enterprises such as hydroponics, bee keeping, soil testing etc. By being placed next to other enterprises that have constant access such as crop farming, this increases the chances for the services to be accessed.
Mapping of where they provide their services as per region.
Analytics dashboard of what is being accessed and from where.
Secondary customer: Farmers/Potential Farmers
Convenient access to precise information about diverse enterprises and where to access the same services depending on their region
One SMS per request, not bulk SMS hence no unnecessary charges. Value for airtime.
Rating service for the services they have received from the companies present on the platform. This will keep, the companies competitive and on their toes service wise.
Mburu Njung'e -Bsc DryLand Agric and Enterpise Development -Kenyatta University
Norman Munge-Bsc Business & Information Technology - Strathmore University