By George Munene
Smallholder farmers now have a localised farm-focused weather app as well as a tool to identify soil and plant deficiencies through the use of free technologies offered by Yara East Africa—a fertilizer manufacturer.
These include; Yara CheckIT which helps you identify nutrient deficiencies in your crops, Yara FarmWeather—a farm-based localised weather mobile tool, and Yara TankmixIT, a database of spray materials that are compatible with Yara’s line of products.
With Yara CheckIT farmers have access to a photographic library of plant nutrient deficiencies. These can be filtered by symptoms, the location of the deficiency’s symptom on the crop, or by the suspected cause of the symptom. A farmer can then use this to identify the probable deficiency.
Once the deficiency and its cause have been ascertained you can learn how the deficiency affects that particular crop, what soil types are prone to this deficiency, and what factors make it worse.
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The app then gives you recommended remedies for the deficiency and how to prevent it for the next planting season.
Yara TankmixIT is a constantly updated mixing guide for spray programs. Once you are logged into the app, you’ll select your country to access the appropriate product from Yara’s range then match it with the trade name or the active ingredient of a partner spray. A list of laboratory mixes of the two products is generated and their compatibility is given. A compatibility test of the two spraying mixes can be sought through the app and the results of the required combination given in few hours.
The Yara Farmweather App developed in collaboration with software development company IBM predicts how likely it is to rain on your farm and if so when. You can then share this information gathered from the app with farmers through mobile messaging; this can be done regardless of internet access or whether they have a smartphone.
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Users are also able to look up and save the weather and weather patterns in four different locations across the country.
“The proliferation of smartphones in the country means that most farmers can have access to the Farmweather App that gives them info on the weather so that they can make timely decisions,” said William Ng’eno, Yara East Africa Kenya Country Manager.
Vitalis Wafula, Commercial Director Yara East Africa, noted, “These technologies will spur productivity as well as hopefully serving to attract the youth who have traditionally shied away from agriculture. This is part of our campaign to educate farmers on the use of the right type of fertilisers, in the right quantities, and applying them at the right time.”
Yara CheckIT: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yara.checkit&hl=en
Yara FarmWeather: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yarafarmweather.farmweather&hl=en
Yara TankmixIT: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yara.yaratankmix&hl=en
Yara Kenya: +254 724255370/ 724255371