A local technology consulting company, Advantech Consulting has developed an app meant to help rice farmers boost yields through provision of extension services from experts.
The app incorporates information on weather patterns, soil type and potential markets in view to eliminating post-harvest losses estimated at 10 to 15 per cent of the total production.
According to Advantech, the project is first being piloted in Tanzania among 100,000 rice farmers before being introduced to the Kenyan market.
The project is funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development to a tune of Sh150m.
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The Mwea rice irrigation scheme in Kenya
This comes at a time when the volume of total paddy rice declined by 20 per cent to 81.2 thousand tonnes in 2017 according to the Economic Survey 201 even though an additional 7,363 hectares of land was placed under rice irrigation representing a 50.5 per cent increase.
This was largely attributable to the expansion of acreage in the out grower areas within the Mwea irrigation scheme. Similarly, the number of plot holders practicing irrigation rose by 25.1 per cent to 16,326 in 2017.
Despite the increase in the area cropped and the increase in the number of plot holders there was a 22.5 per cent decrease in gross value of output from all scheme areas to Sh4.4bn in the review period.