Grain farmers stand to increase their yields by up to 13 per cent, through the adoption of technology. Software development firm Virtual City is targeting grain farmers with mobile technology aimed at automating processes from farm to market, in an effort to get more farmers to adopt technology to perform the day-to-day tasks associated with sale of farm produce.
Addressing farmers at the Eastern Africa Grain Council Agribusiness Expo 2012 in Nakuru, Virtual City Chief Executive officer John Waibochi said introducing use of technology in grain farming will help increase productivity. “For a long time our farmers have treated farming as a small-scale venture largely for subsistence. However with automation, applications such as
Agrimanagr will go a long way in not only transforming even small-scale ventures into professional farming businesses, but also in enabling farmers earn more from their toil,” said Waibochi.
The Agrimanagr application uses short message services (SMS) to relay information from farmers to the rest of the supply chain, eliminating the need for middlemen, cutting out fraud, and shortening payment time for farmers, while making it easy for buyers of produce to keep track of their purchases.
“With research showing that the adoption of technology can raise farmer yields by between 9 – 13 per cent and significantly increase profits, it is becoming more evident that automation is the key to unlocking agriculture potential,” he said.
Growth in the agriculture sector has been held back by farmers’ inability to access markets, delayed payments and lack of market information. Last month, Virtual City announced plans to spend Sh135 million in assisting farmers professionalise agriculture through the use of mobile phone applications.