How a mobile App is set to change lives of farmers in East Africa

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    Herbert K.Muhure, a communications officer with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) based in Rwanda shows a guest a pamphlet showing FAO activities in the country during an exhibition by different countries from Eastern Africa region at FAO office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    By PATRICK MAYOYO

    newsdesk@dailyreporter.co.ke

    A computer application that is set to revolutionise farming activities in the country and the East African region has been developed, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations (FAO) has said.

    The app known as the e-granary that has been developed jointly by the East African Farmers Federation (EAFF) and FAO is currently being piloted in Kenya.

    According to FAO’s associate professional officer agribusiness, sub-regional office for Eastern Africa, Filippo Brasesco, the app is to be used to register farmers, capture data on the kind of crops they grow and help them plan the correct and timely use of inputs.

    It will also avail data on quality and quantity of harvests, help link farmers to markets, help them secure loans using their produce as collateral and also assist in improving yields,” he said.

    Read also: New APP to warn farmers of adverse climatic conditions developedhttps://www.standardmedia.co.ke/m/?articleID=2000186790&story_title=new-app-to-warn-farmers-of-adverse-climatic-conditions-developed

    Brasesco who was speaking in Addis Ababa during the occasion to mark the 70th anniversary of FAO and a special media day disclosed that after the piloting stage in Kenya, the app would be rolled out in other East Africa Community (EAC) countries of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.

    We are initially targeting 50,000 farmers in Kenya on a pilot basis before taking the e-granary innovation to other EAC member states,” he said.  

    He said the app is going to ensure buyers of agri-products are going to have readily available information on where to buy whatever they want, the quantity and quality.

    FAO

    Delegates during the occasion to mark the 70th anniversary of FAO visit different stalls at an exhibition in Addis Ababa.

    He added that e-granary would help categorise different farmers be they those growing maize, rice, beans, green grain, vegetables and other crops.

    The app will also capture data on the total production of different crops in EAC member states and help buyers to know where to get different agricultural produce in a timely manner,” he said.

    Read also: Millions in Kenya need food aid, FAO warns http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2016/01/millions-in-kenya-need-food-aid-fao-warns/

    He said this would ultimately help eradicate massive food waste in the region. FAO studies show that more that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year around the world due to various reasons.

    In Africa the studies show food waste mainly occurs earlier in supply chain, especially during processing and transportation due to poor infrastructure and undeveloped production.

    The FAO have now revealed that food waste is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

    Greenhouse gas emissions result in climate change which is blamed for causing droughts, floods, diseases, food shortages and water scarcity among others.

    According to FAO, food waste is estimated to contribute 3.3 Gt of CO2 equivalent in climate change and mitigation measures are required to reverse this trend.

    In 2013, FAO released a report that shows  if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest carbon emitter in the world after the US and China,” she says.

    According to the report, food wastage is the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions after China and the USA.

     

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