KUZA Doctor - A Farmer's Mobile Toolkit from Farm to Fork REMIX
The Backpack Farm Team continues development of Kenya's 1st mobile tool assisting smallholder farmers to manage their production from 'farm to fork' in either English or Swahili.
KUZA Doctor supports farmers using the most basic mobile phones with critical knowledge to increase their rates of production and subsequent incomes while learning the value of local biodiversity and conservation farming. Our toolset will soon augment its functionality with a smart phone option. The agriculture content was developed by the Backpack Farm team, a group of experts who actively train and engage with smallholder farmers in Kenya.
Agriculture content will include:
- BASIC SMS CONTENT: Support 20 crops with 4 layers of interactive questions in more than 47 technical classes.
- FARMING 101: 7 Categories on Conservation farming with a large focus on water management including seven (7) different models for rainwater harvesting and the impact of drip irrigation.
- CROP MANAGMENT: Specific content for more than 32 different crops from primary production to harvest.
- THE EXTRAS: Aquaculture 101, Indigenous Chickens & Apiculture – Indigenous Honey & Processing
- CROP CALENDAR: Once a crop is selected, a farmer is promoted with tips and reminders about best practices.
- SME BUSINESS TUTORIALS: 3 unique courses designed for smallholder farmers to transform their current production into profitable business models.
- WHITE BOARD: Helping farmers connect to each other as well as to new markets
The BETA version will launch to a trial audience of 1,000 farmers in August 2012. A nationwide launch will begin in late September 2012.
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- In Kenya, there are more than 27 million smallholder farmers, 21 million of which earn their primary income from farming. Knowledge and training in modern, sustainable farming techniques is the missing link to transforming the lives of smallholder farmers not only in Kenya but across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. Presently, access to information and training is limited by geography and investment capital. Technical extension and advisory services can be one form of helping smallholder farmers to improve the quality and quantity of food production. Traditional extension services cannot reach the bulk of East Africa’s farmers without unrealistic levels of capital investment and underestimate the ability of smallholder farmers to adapt to new approaches in educational programs. Mobile technologies are widely recognized as a transformative agent of development for rural agriculture. They offer a particularly powerful opportunity for women, helping them access vital knowledge and participate more effectively in supply-chains, who are responsible for more than 80% of Kenya and the EAC’s regional food production. More important is the opportunity to address male youth, continuing to migrate to urban centers with few opportunities for education or employment. Technical extension and advisory services improve the quality and quantity of food production within smallholder farming communities. Traditional extension services cannot reach the bulk of East Africa’s farmers without unrealistic levels of capital investment and underestimate the ability of smallholder farmers to adapt to new approaches in educational programs.