Smallholder farmers can get real-time information within three minutes by using Ujuzikilimo, an interactive short message service which allows farmers to get personalized weather updates, crop management and market information.
It allows farmers to ask questions and get feedback from agricultural experts so as to enable them to make informed decisions required for better crop yields.
“I decided to form Ujuzikilimo in 2014 after seeing my own parents struggle with poor farm harvests, season after season after investing a lot of time and money” said Brian Bosire, a young entrepreneur in the agribusiness industry.
“The SMS service sets off a continuous relationship with the farmer, where we deliver actionable recommendation and advice based on soil and farm conditions.”
The service will enable farmers reap maximum yields, know the amount and type of fertilizers needed and best seed varieties in order to reduce the risks involved in traditional farming by trial and error.
UjuziKilimo founder Brian Bosire testing the soil PH and nutrient levels using an aid analytics kit
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 500m small-scale farmers provide over 70 per cent of the world’s food. However, up to 90 per cent have no access to the internet and are often isolated from basic agricultural information and new ideas.
Precision farming reduces the risk of using the wrong quantities and high cost on fertilizers, enhances soil conservation and increases productivity. With information on seeds, fertilizers, weather and crop management, farmers can increase their harvests, reduce costs and have quality produce for the market.
Ujuzikilimo gathers market information from different partners and institutions. All this market data is broken down to regions and farmers are able to get up to date personalized SMS with the market trends. This ensures that farmers are well informed in order to get the best prices for their produce.
“As a small scale farmer my biggest worry was the bad and erratic weather that we have been experiencing, coupled with soil degradation, however with this service I have increased my potato farm yields from 26 per bags per acre to about 47 bags” said Simon Kamande, a farmer in Murang’a who has subscribed to Ujuzikilimo’s SMS service.
The population of people living in Africa is expected to cross over two billion by 2050, thus there will be in great food demand. Small holder Farmers are at the center stage to bringing the new agricultural revolution in Africa. This revolution starts with empowering farmers with information.
To subscribe farmers should send an SMS starting with the word ‘ujuzi’ to 20880. Ujuzikilimo can be reached on +254 20 2611 248