Making Farming in Africa Udderly Fabulous

Posted on March 4, 2021
AfricaagriculturecowsfarmingKenyalow-techmobileSMSSu KahumbuTED

Su Kahumbu is a mobile phone application wizard who creates apps for smallholder farmers in Africa. The wizardry comes in the simplicity of her tools. The latest of which is iCow.

iCow is aimed at farmers in Africa. It runs on low-end phones and does not need an Internet connection. It utilizes the SMS function to send messages about crops, seasonal tasks, and lessons about farming in whatever local language the farmer desires. The iCow site has more,

“Farmers who are on the platform and execute the lessons they receive, begin to see increases in yields, incomes and profitability within 3 months. Within a year they are doubling their yields…

…The platform is being used by hundreds of thousands of farmers in Kenya, catalysing economic growth and prosperity from the ground up whilst drawing down carbon from the atmosphere.”

 

 

Kahumbu, who has “21 years experience of working with smallholder farmers and organic farming systems in Kenya” explained her work in more detail during a TED Talk in 2017. TED said, “her goal is to inspire, enable and support farming communities across Africa by making farming sexy.”

Kahumbu will be talking about her work at IID during the second “Vibrations in the Present” session “Rethinking the relationship with technology” on 24 March. Be sure to sign up for this exciting event.

 

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