Monthly Archives: April 2013

Daily Market information;

You can access daily market information through the following links; http://www.nafis.go.ke:8180/nacie/nafis/wholes.php

We transferred all the market information from NAFIS page to NACIE i.e NAFIS Commodity and Input Exchange (NACIE). nacie-logo1

KARI Kuku Kienyeji (2013):

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) develops a new breed of local ‘kienyeji’ chicken suited to the country’s unique bird rearing conditions.The new variety is a cross breed of chicken from across the region developed after in depth scientific research.Learn the unique advantages and business opportunities of adopting this Kuku Kienyeji.

Agriculture Extension Officers embrace Technology:

Farmers may soon be able to access information relevant to their practices by way of technology platforms such as email and SMS. Agriculture extension officers will be equipped with laptops and cell phones to enable them to provide farmers with information easily.These are some of the ways the government is using to keep the agricultural sector relevant and make it attractive to the youth.

Digital system to improve service delivery to farmers

IN SUMMARY

  • Farmers will no longer be required to physically seek advice from an extension officer on how to yield more crops.
  • They will get information either through voice calls, text messaging, the internet and digital libraries and has instructed agricultural officers to set up desks at the local market on the respective sale days.
  • It is estimated that 65 per cent of Kenyan farmers’ use mobile phones of which the Agriculture PS Romano Kiome attributed the decision to adopt innovative solutions.

e-extension

The Ministry of Agriculture has gone digital in a move to increase productivity and heighten food security. Through their mobile phones, farmers can get information from agricultural officers who will be equipped with laptops and smart phones.

They will no longer be required to physically seek advice from an extension officer on how to yield more crops.

Agriculture PS Romano Kiome on Thursday said the ministry had been pushing for the implementation of the project worth Sh50 million for several years and it expects the county governments to implement it.

“Application of the e-extension has the potential to increase productivity of Kenyan farmers, majority of whom are small scale farmers, through improved delivery of services,” the PS said.

He was speaking during the launch of the plan dubbed ‘E-Extension’ at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute headquarters in Nairobi.

He said the ministry has acquired 624 extension kits with which farmers get information either through voice calls, text messaging, the internet and digital libraries.

He has also instructed agricultural officers to set up desks at the local market on the respective sale days.

“This idea focuses on creating an electronic and interactive bridge where farmers, fishers and other stakeholders meet and transact to enhance productivity, profitability and competitiveness,” he said.

It is estimated that 65 per cent of Kenyan farmers’ use mobile phones of which the Agriculture PS Romano Kiome attributed the decision to adopt innovative solutions.

The ministry, he said, seeks to address the gap created by the inadequate staff who serve as the ministry’s point of contact with the farmers.

“Application of the e-extension will take advantage of recent advancement of telecommunications and information technology where the percentage of household owning a computer or mobile phone stands at 3.6 per cent and 63.2 per cent respectively,” Dr Kiome said, quoting from the 2009 National Population and Housing Census report.

He added that there are 5,600 extension agricultural officers compared to the 8,000 required in the field.

“Some of the notable advantages of using these platforms are efficient delivery of information to users thus prompting appropriate action and intervention.

“Sending a simple text message from a mobile phone, for instance, on availability of subsidised fertiliser at the National Cereals and Produce Board depots would go a long way in ensuring farmers acquire inputs in time,” Dr Kiome said.

Kenya is renowned for the success of the mobile money transfer technology and the ministry hopes this new communication system will catch up as well.

The ministry plans to equip 1,450 information desks in every ward with the kit, train 3,000 extension staff on information sourcing from the e-extension and another 720,000 on how to access the information.

Further, it seeks to equip its 4,700 Frontline Extension Workers (FEW) with the mobile kits to maintain communication with the thousands of farmers across the country. “We expect that by the end of this calendar year, we will be reaching over 1.5 million people through these kits and in three years we expect to package 80 per cent of our programmes this way,” Dr Kiome said.

He called on governors to prioritise the project in their budgets and assured them of support from the central government.

Source: By LILLIAN ONYANGO; laonyango@ke.nationmedia.com