Samsung digital villages to benefit Rural farmers in Kenya

Samsung is planning to set up digital villages in Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania, a move that is expected to enhance the flow of farming knowledge especially among smallholder farmers in the region, increasing food production.
The initiative which was announced during the Samsung Africa Forum held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 18th Feb 2016, the global electronics company reiterated its commitment to bolster its Corporate Citizenship efforts in Africa in a bid to help the continent achieve its Sustainable Development Goals which includes food security, better health care and education
This initiative comes at the time when various studies are blaming poor food production in the continent on poor agricultural practices arising from lack of knowledge amongst smallholder farmers who accounts for at least 70 percent of food.
According to the company’s Corporate Citizenship and Public Affairs Manager, Abey Tau, Samsung is going to use its technology to empower rural Africa by supporting key social economic drivers including health, education and job creation.
The company is going to set up Solar Powered Internet Schools, Smart Schools and E-Learning Academies in rural areas, instilling ICT skills among the rural population. Considering that at least 80 percent of the rural population in Kenya engages in agricultural activates, they are likely to use the ICT knowledge to mine for more agricultural information to enrich their farm production and access market information.
Currently, poor infrastructure is blocking farmers in rural areas from accessing extensional agricultural services by state and non-state actors and profitable markets, forcing them to stick to destructive and loss making traditional practices. In Kenya for instance, only 5 per cent of the rural population is connected to the power grid while internet penetration is less than 25 percent, this according to World Bank.
Last year, the company launched Solar Powered Internet Schools Program in Kenya which benefited Arap Moi Primary School in Rongai, Kajiado County. Under this programme, the company deploys ICT Infrastructure like solar powered e-board multi-purpose printers and Samsung tablets. This technology-laden environment is complimented with professional development of educators, content generation and management, improving education quality of those schools and benefiting the farming community by extension.