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YOUTH CHAMPIONING ICTINNOVATIONS IN AGRICULTURE IN EAST AFRICA By Claude K.MIGISHA , kLab General Manager Kigali - Rwanda
CURRENT SITUATION A region of 130M people with an estimation of 1/100 with access to broadband internet and 1/3 with a mobile phone. (mobile phone subscriptions in the region jumped from 3 million in 2002 to 64 million in 2010) Agriculture is the backbone for all the five countries with the highest impact on their respective GDPs. (32%, in Rwanda last year)
ICT TRENDS IN THE EAC Kenya : only 6 million people have good internet access — and between 20 and 25 million have SMS access. Rwanda: only 9 thousand people have access to internet while between 5 and 5.5 million have SMS access. Touches her hair 37 times per day Checks her phone 82 Times per day It makes all sense to go SMS
THE POWER OF MOBILE A communications platform Voice / SMS Mobile Internet based communications Social networking An application Platform Mobile apps A trading platform Mobile money M-commerce
MOBILE TECHNOLOGY IN EAC (K:67.2%, T:56%, U:38.4%)
MOBILE INNOVATIONS Innovative uses: m Agriculture mHealth mLearning mBanking & mTransactions / mMoney mGovernance
M-AGRICULTUREEducation and awareness SMS in support of good cultivation practices, improved crop varieties, weather, pest and disease management. Also information to agriculture extension workersCommodity prices and market Market prices and preferences, which affectsinformation planting decisions, not just post-harvest salesData collection Applications using mobile devices to collect and/or access agriculture dataPest and disease outbreak warning Send and receive data on disease incidenceand tracking and outbreaks
GRASSROOTS INNOVATIONS FarmerLine(Gh,Av.25): provides relevant agricultural information directly to remote farmers across the region in real time in the form of both SMS text as well as voice messages (to ensure that even those who cannot read can benefit). To help farmers increase yields and profits as well as improve the food security and nutrition situation. mFarm (Ken, Av:26): through SMS we give you up- to date market information, link farmers to buyers through our marketplace and current agri-trends.
GRASSROOTS INNOVATIONS (CONT.) The Grainy Bunch (TZ) is a national grain supply chain management system that monitors the purchase, storage, distribution, and consumption of grain across the entire nation. It was developed with the understanding that selling “the effects of efficiency” to actors in the grain supply chain is much easier than selling “the effects of climate change”. Osca Connect (RW, Av: 23) developed an App called Sarura that enables farmers to input the type crop they wish to plant, then it cross- checks meteorological data to determine if the crop is suitable given the timing and location. Sarura improves farmer yields, saves them time, and money Agro Universe (UG) allows farmers with agriculture products or livestock to alert the app’s community so that they can buy and sell goods from each other. It works on both mobile and the web. The aim of Agro Universe is to create a regional marketplace where products can be sold that may have no demand in the user’s immediate area but that might in areas farther out.
WAY FORWARD Innovation & Incubation hubs: Research, development and commercialization. Mentorship, skills, financing. Content : There is still a need of content, a relevant and contextual one. The private sector and Startups to leverage governments infrastructure. (Take advantage of Mob. Phon. Subsc.). Illiteracy: Illiteracy is still high in the region, to be considered while innovating (Data & Voice). Energy: Electricity is also a major challenge. Think of other sources/types of energy.
MURAKOZE!! Claude MIGISHA K. email@example.com Kigali – Rwanda Africa