Kenyan farmers adopting the use of digital farming technologies for their different farming activities such as in keeping records, monitoring crop and livestock health can increase their annual profits by between 7.1 per cent and 76.3 per cent, according to 2015 research conducted by UK innovation foundation, Nesta.
Such technologies which include mobile applications enhance farming activities and improve yields as they also bring farmers closer to the digital age.
This week, Safaricom in collaboration with the Makueni County Government launched Digifarm in the area which will see over 150,000 farmers access Information on best farming practices, discounted inputs and credit services through their phones.
Acquisition of farmers in Makueni began in mid-June, and so far 120,000 farmers have been educated on DigiFarm and can now access the service. This drive has so far covered Wote, Mbooni and Kibwezi East sub-counties with Kilome and Kaiti to be covered in August.
To bring the services of quality input closer to the Makueni farmer, DigiFarm will open three depots in Wote, Kalawani and Mbumbuni – the latter which shall be officially open today where farmers will access quality, discounted inputs. Makueni farmers will especially benefit from the all-round availability of inputs at the depots, especially during peak season, and access to advisory and technical information from experts stationed at each of the depots.
We welcome digital farming in Makueni courtesy of a partnership with @SafaricomPLC. Over 150,000 of our farmers will benefit from direct access to information on best farming practices, discounted inputs and credit services through their phones. pic.twitter.com/Qit8fttKmO
— Kivutha Kibwana (@governorkibwana) August 1, 2018
There is a call also to Makueni residents, people who may have shops or already running agrovets and would wish to partner to bring services closer to the farmer to come forth and register their interest.
The area continues to receive numerous boosts in its agricultural sector with the European Union recently giving Makueni County a grant of Kshs 110 million to support the ongoing fruit processing plant as well as the milk processing plant opened early this year in Kikima that makes Makueni Fresh milk becomes the first dairy product to be processed in the county after Governor Kivutha Kibwana opened the Kshs 25 million plant in Mbooni sub-County.