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UkulimaDigital

A Mobile App that enables farmers to manage their farms online using an android mobile phone and get information relating to agriculture

Photo of Alex Mugo
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

UkulimaDigital is a Mobile App that allow farmers to manage their farm activities by recording all the farm inputs and outputs, schedule farm activities and finally generating financial reports, the App also provides real time information to the farmer which includes weather information, market information and also directly links the farmers (producers) to the buyers (consumers). For the farmers to use the app, one needs to have a smart phone where they download, install then register using their phone number and username. After successful registration, users can create projects on the app which are stored on the cloud, also after registration they will be able to view members registered who are within their region and can interact and share ideas. Farmers can also get weather forecast information for 5 days within their location. One of the biggest challenge farmers face is lack of information, poor record keeping and lack of planning. With Ukulima Digital we are providing a platform to disseminate information from different approved organizations to farmers in a seamless way. With this farm management platform, farmers can use the information to make better management decisions and also gauge the profitability of a given project. By providing market information and linking farmers directly to the ready market(buyers) we are reducing food wastage and losses in the supply chain.

WHO BENEFITS?

The main beneficiary of our innovation are Farmers. One of the major challenge farmers face which cause food westage is lack of information, with Ukuluima Digital we will provide this much needed information to the farmer on real time basis which includes; Climate Information, Market Information, Disease and pest outbreak and educative materials. We also provide an online platform (webinar) where farmers can interact with experts and specialist in the agriculture sector (www.uchat.co.ke).

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

This innovation has been developed and being tested in some parts of Kenya, once fully tested and developed we plan to roll it out to the whole country (Kenya) targeting small scale farmers and later move to other countries in East Africa.

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

Ukulima Digital is a product of Digen Enterprise Ltd a registered company in Kenya which is made up of young innovators with a common goal: Provide Solutions to Global Problems

IS THIS IDEA NEW FOR YOU OR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

UkulimaDigital is a new idea which has been in existence for the last 1 year, this idea led to the birth of "Digen Enterprise Limited" which deals with innovative ideas that provides solutions to global problems.

HOW IS YOUR IDEA UNIQUE?

UkulimaDigital is a unique idea because; It’s an all in one App/system that provides solutions to many challenges facing farmers e.g. poor farm record keeping and lack of reliable and real-time information i.e. Weather information, market information, disease and pest control information Ukulima Chat (Agriculture Webinar(www.uchat.co.ke)) a component of Ukulima Digital is a very unique solutions that allow farmers to attend seminars from anywhere using their smart phones or from a computer connected to the internet.

WHO WILL IMPLEMENT THIS IDEA?

Currently we are a team of 4 actively involved in the implementation. We are also partnering with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nairobi County who will play the role of providing reliable information and human expertise in agriculture. We are also working on getting more partnership with farm inputs manufacturers

HOW HAS YOUR IDEA CHANGED BECAUSE OF BENEFICIARY FEEDBACK?

Some of the feedback that we have so far received are; All in one solution - now the system is able to provide more than one solution to the users compared to our initial idea Multilingual - we are working on integrating different languages to accommodate a larger client base Use of images - current the users are able to post images which aid in vissual explanation SMS Based - we have incorporating an SMS based system to cater for farmers without a smart phone The user feedback has generally improved the user experience by giving suggestions on ease of use of the system

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS IDEA?

How to accommodate the old and the illiterate farmers in this new technology.

WHY DO YOU THINK THE PROBLEM YOUR IDEA SOLVES FOR HASN'T BEEN SOLVED YET?

Currently farmers rely on media (TV and Radio) to get information, this information is not real time and there is no one on one interaction between the presenter and the farmer. The main cause of food wastage and spoilage is lack of climate and market information, farmers rely on middle men to get market information. Ukulima Digital will address these challenges through its platforms by giving farmers timely market and weather information and also farm management system, this will enable farmers to plan well on when to harvest thus avoiding food wastage.

WHAT WOULD YOU ULTIMATELY LIKE TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS IDEA? WHAT IS YOUR NEXT STEP TO GET THERE?

Our dream is to make our platform act as a hub/source of reliable agricultural information where all farmers can go to when they have any query related to farming. We plan to create a network with all agricultural organization, gather information and make this data available to farmers at a small fee depending with the type of the information. Our next step is creating awareness for more farmers to use our platform then build Bulk SMS system for farmers without smart phones.

MEMBERS OF MY TEAM HAVE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER FOR:

  • Between 6 months and a year

MY INTENDED BENEFICIARIES ARE:

  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within 100 km of where our team does most of its work
  • Within in 500 km of where our team does most of its work
  • More than 500 km from where our team does most of its work

MY ORGANIZATION'S OPERATING BUDGET FOR 2015 WAS:

  • Under $100,000

Ukulima is a Kiswahili word that means agriculture, it is a range of products which includes Mobile App that enables farmers to manage their farms online using an android mobile phone, get information relating to agriculture and also share information with other stake holders.

82 comments

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Comment
Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you for all those who commented and give us feedback, we value your feedback.
As we come to the winning moment may the best team win!
Our promise to our followers, even if we will not make it to the winning five, we will continue doing all that is within our capacity to make farming better than it has been before, this will see Africa feed her own and her neighbors.
We welcome people of like minded to partner with us.
Thank you.

Photo of Sylvia Moraa
Team

Hello Alex,  this is a brilliant idea that is going to help farmers. Keep it up! Have never thought of the intergration of technology into the agriculture sector to this extent. Very impressive work.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

@Sylvia Moraa, thank you for your feedback

Photo of Simone Alexander
Team

This app looks wonderful. Really useful for many farmers. Well done. 

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you @Simone Alexander, thank you 

Photo of Daniel Odongo
Team

Great! This is a very good initiative that will empower our African farmers to move an extra mile beyond the old school farming practices. I hope you can also roll it out to Uganda as well. To cater for the entire farming eco system, I would suggest in the future, you have a USSD version to cater for all types of phones. 

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Daniel Odongo thank you for your good comment, Yes Uganda is in our plan and we hope to work together.
We have the option of USSD which i agree with you could have been the best option reason being it works on all phones however; USSD is very expensive to maintain in Kenya thus making it not appropriate to small scale farmers.

Photo of Roselyn Wanjiru
Team

Dear Alex,
Great initiative. The technology will revolutionize the farming sector to a digital level. Need to broadcast and train farmers further beyond NairobiCounty.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Roselyn Wanjiru thanks for the feedback, we are currently working with farmers from different counties and we hope to go beyond Kenya.

Photo of Bahenda Joseph
Team

Hello Alex Mugo,
How innovative your idea is! I believe like you that having access to information and managing it in a more accurate way can improve proficiency  by reducing the waste of time and money. More importantly Ukulima Digital helps farmers access to the market for their produce. Only one thing, your company has  has identified the segment of farmers who possess Android as operating system. How about windowsphone, IOS, etc. and the poor farmer without a smartphone or without any phone at all?

Joseph
http://www.chicken4all.bi/

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Hello Bahenda Joseph ,
Thanks for the feedback and a very valid question, in regards to accommodating other platforms; yes we have that in plan, we choose android as a starting point considering majority of smart phone users have Android phones, once we stabilize the Android App will will now move to other platforms (iOS and windows).
On the issue of farmers without smart phones; that is one of our answered question however have introduced a product called "Ukulima Text" which is SMS based. USSD would have been the best option however in Kenya this option is very expensive to maintain thus making it not appropriate for farmers

Photo of Bahenda Joseph
Team

Great insight Alex Mugo.

Do not forget to expand to Burundi as you move forward in tackling this unaddressed issue so far.

Regards,

Joseph
Follow us @infochicken4all

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you Bahenda Joseph , are you based in Burundi? we have plans to extend to other countries in Africa and we will be glad to partner with you.

Photo of Bahenda Joseph
Team

You are welcome Alex Mugo.
Actually, my business is based in Burundi but I live in Europe for now.
Nevertheless , any kind of partnership with your business is welcome. I have a strong network in Burundi, and am able to offer you any type of support you may need in regards to looking for opportunities in Burundi to enhance your business value.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Bahenda Joseph thank you very much, we shall keep in touch.

Photo of Bahenda Joseph
Team

Most welcome Alex Mugo. These farmers need us and our solutions. Hence, the synergy is the best way to respond more effectively.


Until next time,

Regards.

Joseph

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thanks

Photo of Bonsaviour
Team

Great job Ukulima digital. So far so good in your efforts to bridge the gap in agriculture and technology

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Bonsaviour thank you for the feedback.

Photo of Michael Ngacha
Team

Great initaitives Ukulima Digital in bringing farmers/ agricultural sector on board the ever dynamic digital world, keep up the good work, very impressive and inspiring.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank Michael Ngacha  for the feedback

Photo of Steve Jirongo
Team

As a young up and coming farmer,I find ukulima digital to be very useful and relevant.It allows for easier management of farm activities and I also get to interact with other farmers on issues relating to markets.Being in the information I find the information to be locally tailored for me.Kudos team!

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Steve Jirongo thanks a lot for the feedback, we hope to be of great importance to many upcoming farmers like you.

Photo of Puri Eve
Team

Ukulima Digital app has transformed and eased many processes to do with agriculture. Its diverse functionalities and wide scope has made it easy for me to manage my farm better and interact freely with other farmers via UD chat platform to improve my farming skills and heightened my awareness on target market. UD is simply the best farmer's choice app. Kudos to the strong team behind this!

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you Puri Eve , we are glad to hear your feedback. Our efforts is geared towards full transformation of Agriculture sector in Africa and beyond.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Remember to join us on www.uchat.co.ke for "Drip Irrigation" event.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you all for our comments, your feedback means a lot to us as we look forward to solving global problems specifically on farming

Photo of G-mih Revised
Team

Big up ukulima digital ....am a vet and I have really seen the impact of this digitalised application assisting my clients....I long to work with you now n in future

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

G-mih Revised Thanks and we are always ready to work wit stake holders

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Join UChat www.uchat.co.ke for drip irrigation  event starting tomorrow 8.00 Am East African time

Photo of Robert Karobia
Team

UkulimaDigital Team,

This is a great idea and it goes along way in increasing farmer's income in many ways. Instances where farmers have been throwing away their produce becouse they dont have a market for their product will soon be gone. I also love the idea since it links the producer directly with the buys without other parties in between. Keep up the great work.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you @Robert Karobia, its our dream we see many benefit from our projects

Photo of Prince Maish
Team

Hi i like the app. Is very useful to manage my farm keep it up and continue bringing up more ideas that we help farmers to attain their ultimate goal.   

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank You Prince Maish  for your feedback, more is coming.

Photo of Nathan
Team

An awesome solution. 
I have actually benefit from the forums in the Ukulima Digital commonly refered as UD. It helps me interact with other farmers on my wheat and potato projects.
Kudos to the team. This is the next big in Kenya's and Africa at large in the agricultural sector.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

@Nathan thank you, we are glad to hear you are a beneficiary of UD, let us know on areas we can improve. Your feedback is very important to us.

Photo of Jane Mwangi
Team

Keep it up ukulima digital.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you Jane Mwangi 

Photo of Fidelis Karanja
Team

Ukulima Digital,
Thank you for your response, wishing you all the best.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

You are welcome and thanks

Photo of Ong'ao Ng'asike
Team

Thank you so much, it will be of great help if it will go the sms way. That will be cheaper, easy to use and sustainable to the poor communities down here. Thank you very much. You are the one we want to create linkages for us.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Ong'ao Ng'asike we are doing all that is within our capacity to see lives of many farmers impacted positively

Photo of Netlane
Team

Great Ukulima digital this exciting to see that you have gone international, am happy with the app and as a company, we are using it to manage our fields in the village where our workers upload the outputs of the day, and we monitor it from Nairobi.I am requesting whether in future you can also include a printing  icon so that we can get a hand copy in ease

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you for the feedback, we are very flexible and we have noted your comment and our team will work out on something.

Photo of Evangelist Mwangi
Team

Am impressed with your great innovation looking to learn more of it.We are soon planning to engage the ministry of Agriculture so that we can have a reliable source of data and timely to all farmers 

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you and karibu

Photo of Ong'ao Ng'asike
Team

I am among a group of farmers from Nangitony, Kerio Delta in Turkana Central Sub-County. Most of us do not have smart phones. How can Ukulima Digital help us?

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Ong'ao Ng'asike Thank for your concern, for sure its a concern that we are working on and given a high priority, in the meantime we are introducing SMS which is accessible by anyone with any type of phone.

Photo of Angela Mbuvi
Team

Dear Ukulima digital team this is great am a farmer from Kitui county ,all i like about the app is to connect me to the buyers from Nairobi.Is it possible to create a page for us to be able to advertise our products.Wish you all the best in this competation

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Angela Mbuvi Thank you, We have so far connected so many farmer from all over the country (Kenya) to buyers through our whatsapp groups, we also have a market module on the app where you can post your products.

Photo of Patick
Team

Ukulima Digital is one app which have helped me in many way so informative which connect me direct to   professionals  who helps to solve issues  affecting my products.
Keep it up guys this great IDEA will help more farmers TO BE MORE aware of what is happening in the market.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you Patrick

Photo of Francis Mugo
Team

Ukulima Digital is a nice app,as one of smal scale farmer i have gained alot by interacting with farmers who share their experiences, you have also brought experts and professionals on board who have taught us a lot.Atleast we can now easily get buyers for our products and we are eagerly waiting for more.THANKS U.K.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

@Francis Mugo, thank you for that great feedback, we have a passion to see a change in agriculture sector and positively impact lives of millions.

Photo of Douglas Gichuhi
Team

This is a great app where farmers exchange ideas, best practices and find solutions from experts. It provides information like market access which is very valuable to the farmers.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

@Douglas thank you for the feedback.

Photo of Fidelis Karanja
Team

Hey Alex & Ukulima Team, Great idea! what happens if i get the app and then i loose my phone?

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Fidelis Karanja a very good question, the data is stored in the cloud so once you loose your phone you data remain intact. Thank you.

Photo of Salome
Team

This is a noble idea ,I am a farmer and this app is really solving my Problem,the app has really connected me to the market and also has given me real data /information Congratulations Ukulima Digital Team,This is the fast step to greater heights waiting for more products from you

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Salome Thanks fir the feedback.

Photo of AMINA Ramadhani
Team

Need to distribute smart phone to your beneficiries

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

AMINA That is brilliant, you are welcome to partner with us.

Photo of AMINA Ramadhani
Team

Hi Mkulima digital it is brilliant idea .

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

AMINA Thank you

Photo of Vegetable Resource Centre
Team

Hello Alex. This is a very useful tool to farmers. How can we work together to improve the lives of small holder farmers? I can see we have something in common; Sharing of information. You can read about us at https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/agricultural-innovation/beneficiary-feedback/resource-centre-for-small-holder-vegetable-farmers and explore areas of partnership

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Vegetable Resource Centre Thanks, True partnership is great, I will go through your idea the we discuss further.

Photo of WANGOME PETER
Team

Vegetable Resource Centre I think the spirit of working together is needed so that we can create synergy and work as a team.together we can deliver solution to other farmers like us

Photo of WANGOME PETER
Team

This is a great idea keep it up

Photo of WANGOME PETER
Team

Ukulima Digital, Is a multi-app Planning to Integrate all the Agriculture fields so that we can make a farmer have all he needs with Just an Installation of one app.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

This week on our UChat forum (www.uchat.co.ke) we have been talking about "Onions Farming", Join us next week as we talk about Drip Irrigation, Dripsol Company will facilitate the event.

Photo of Salome
Team

Alex Mugo the forums are really great and educative we are looking for more of this forums.

Photo of Johnson
Team

Great idea it is.I believe this solution will transform small scale farming in a great way.The productivity will increase and bearing in mind the smartphone penetration rate in Kenya, this platform will bring together the new generation of farmers who are able to use technology and doing farming at the grassroots level. These people can then spread the knowledge shared on this platform to other farmers who may not be able to use smartphone devices.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you Johnson, well said! most of young farmers have a smart phone and what we have observed farmers works like in community where there is information sharing, with this in mind the young farmers will enlighten the old generation.

Photo of CSDES
Team

Dear Ukulima Digital ,
This is a very great innovation and its amazing how we can do Extension just from a click on our desks ,I would appreciate to see it work,am downloading the App right now i heard some farmers talking about and very impressed of How the App was assisting them to Intergrate.
As a newly launched institute in the University of Nairobi i think we need to liase and strategise to see how we can synergise together ,most of our work is in Nothern Kenya and i believe if you succed getting the funding we will get to a greater height
wishing you all the best please dont hestate to working with us.

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

CSDES ,
Thank you so much for the comment , we are always ready to work with like minds.
We well know that partnering with stakeholders is key to success, we have a passion and determined that in time to come, millions of lives will be positively impacted by our initiative.

Thank you

Photo of Vegetable Resource Centre
Team

Hi Alex,
A multi language platform will assist in getting the message out to many farmers in Kenya. Additionally, would you mind adding info graphics so that they can help people visualize the problem in a way that words cannot achieve?

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Hi Vegetable Resource Centre ,
Thank you for your inputs, we are ready to do all that is within our capacity to see a drastic change on the way of going about farm day to day activities in the region.
We take note of your inputs and there is much going on and soon we will be launching more products.

Thank you

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Thank you WANGOME Peter and welcome to the team!

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Hey Shane Zhao ,
Thank you for welcoming me, UkulimaDigital has the Mobile App and also few days ago we introduced "UkulimaChat"which is a a webinar for farmers.
Currently we have been testing with farmers within Nairobi Kenya (Mixed Communities) but we have plans to do test in other areas in the villages.
We have received lots of feedback both positive and negative and we will use this information to build a better product, we plan to roll out a new and a better product before end of the 2nd quarter 2016.

Thanks.

Regards,
Alex Mugo

Photo of Alex Mugo
Team

Hey Brian Powell ,
Thanks for the feedback, currently we have an MVP which we are using to gather more information so that we solve farmers specific problems. 
One of the information we have gathered is to use multiple languages(In Kenya: English and Kiswahili), this will allow more farmers to be able to use our services.
We are always willing to work with partners whom we share the same goal.

Regards,
Alex Mugo

Photo of Brian Powell
Team

Hi Alex,

I am happy to see another person working on a smartphone app solution!  I would love to work with you on your idea.

Glad to see that you are addressing the idea of warning about disease and pest outbreaks as well. 

Are you planning to run your app in multiple languages?  Have you thought about ways to make the information easily understood by farmers with very little education?  Infographics?

Please add me to your team so we can work together on your idea.  Also, I'd appreciate feedback on my idea for peer-to-peer lending and other apps.  Take a look at the website I'm putting together at i1P2P.com and let me know if you think my ideas will work in Kenya.  I'm currently in Myanmar, so would like to help test your ideas here as well.

Thanks!
Brian

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Thanks for coming onboard this challenge Alex! It's great to see that your team has already been testing UkulimaDigital in Kenya. We're curious to learn a bit more about the prototyping process. I.e. which communities have you tested this idea with and what feedback might influence your next round of iterations? Also here's another like-minded idea in this challenge you might like to check out: Farm IT