Digital Farm Records; Transforming lives

One of the greatest challenges that smallholder farmers face is limited access to services for their farming enterprises, such as visibility, finance, access to markets, timely information, and suitable inputs in terms of quality and quantity. In response to these challenges, ALIN launched Sokopepe Limited, a social enterprise based in Kenya that has implemented a Farm Records Management Information System (FARMIS) that has three main services; Farm Records, Knowledge Management and Access to Markets.

Our Solution

FARMIS provided web and mobile-based farm record management capabilities that enabled the creation of complete documentation on farming activities and outcomes and supported the development of a comprehensive digital records-a pathway through which farmers can appreciate their farming as an enterprise and enhance access to support services such as financial, inputs and market linkages.

As a tool, FARMIS is structured in a manner, which enables farmers to appreciate farming as a business, drive for profit and sustainability, and enable tracking of different farm level processes. In addition to basic biographical information, FARMIS enables farmers to keep an accurate record of their expenditure in buying inputs, tilling, planting, treatment (fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides), harvesting, post harvesting and selling. They then easily compute their profits enabling the system to generate a profit and loss statement. This is essential in developing a farmer profile for access to credit, markets and other support services.

With a network of 25 Production Information Agents (PIAs), Sokopepe has been able to bring on board 16,000 (Sixteen thousand) farmers in Meru County, Kenya over the last two years. The approach combines the use of a manual Farm book kept by the farmer and a mobile application that the PIA uses to transfer the data to the main server for online access. The PIAs are mainly agriculture graduates who also offer advisory services to the farmers in process of data collection. They also act as a link between farmers and other sectors on the value chain. In near future, Sokopepe plans to replicate its model across the 47 counties I Kenya and contribute to the ‘Big Data around ICT4Ag. The developed a system will cover the following areas;

Product # 1: Farm Record Management



Related stories

  1. Standard Newspaper article dated 25th February 2017 featured an article titled” How app helps Kenyan farmers manage farm books.” The article looks at how FARMIS made agriculture to be solvent for three farmers https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001230620/how-app-helps-kenyan-farmers-manage-farm-books

  2. Standard Newspaper article dated 23rd April 2016 featured an article titled “Basic record keeping injects life into dying farm projects.” The article looked at how record keeping has helped to improve the agricultural enterprises of two families. The article also looked at how reports highlighting husbandry practices, market trends, weather conditions, and on-farm challenges enabled the farmers to make informed decisions https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000199255/basic-record-keeping-injects-life-into-dying-farm-projects

  3. The Daily Nation Newspaper article dated 21st April 2016 featured an article titled “Small-scale farmers go online to find market for their produce.” The article highlighted how small-scale farmers in Meru County have adopted an online platform to monitor and find markets for their produce. http://www.nation.co.ke/business/enterprise/Small-scale-farmers-go-online-to-find-market-for-their-produce/1954166-3168762-rjbe8jz/index.html

  4. Standard Newspaper article dated 26th April 2015 featured an article titled “Small scale farmers bet on new data platform to increase return.” The article explored how Sokopepe through FARMIS is helping farmers turn the tide through record keeping. The article looked at the Agricultural Production Report 2015 (APR 2015) and particularly on how only 0.02 per cent of the 5,000 profiled farmers in 2015 finance their agricultural activities using loans https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2000159780/small-scale-farmers-bet-on-new-data-platform-to-increase-returns


SUCCESS STORIES

  1. The 6th African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) held in Kenya on 2016 featured Sokopepe among 15 Information and Communication Technology for Agriculture (ICT4Ag) innovations
    https://www.raflearning.org/post/video-agra-fisfap-farmers-voices
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oykiYg9nLwE
    https://www.raflearning.org/post/ict4ag-business-models-how-sustain-and-grow-digital-harvest

  2. Sokopepe won the Microsoft ICT Innovation Awards under Agriculture category during 2016 connected Summit. The award recognised Sokopepe as a start-up that meets Kenya’s blueprint vision to build a vibrant middle-income economy by the year 2030

  3. Sokopepe launched the inaugural Agricultural Production Report (APR 2015) for 5 sub counties in Meru using data from FARMIS

  4. Sokopepe is leveraging on partnerships to scale innovations, address gaps in value chains and provide opportunities for smallholder farmers

  5. Sokopepe is leveraging on existing relationships within the value chains to ensure farmers access financial services sustainably while unbanked farmers enjoy new possibilities

  6. Women farmers share their experiences and difficulties in accessing affordable credit before Sokopepe linked them to a micro finance institution

  7. Sokopepe is working with farmers to establish demonstration plots, as they are the most effective education tools. The plots allow farmers to see, hear, discuss, participate and learn by doing

  8. Sokopepe promoting farmer-to-farmer approach to agricultural extension and use of lead farmers to increase agricultural production

  9. Farmer increase production from 2-3 bags per season to more than 15 bags of maize after adopting FARMIS innovation

  10. Sokopepe has incorporated conservation agriculture with FARMIS. This has ensured that farmers keep accurate data on conservation agriculture and address environmental concerns and sustainability

  11. Sokopepe is enhancing good agricultural practices by promoting use of bio-organic fertilizer for enhanced soil fertility. Sokopepe has also partnered with Bio-Pesticide producing Company that supports sustainable food production by providing green, safe, and cost effective farm inputs
    http://sokopepe.co.ke/increasing-opportunities-for-smallholder-farmers-through-partnerships/
    http://sokopepe.co.ke/leveraging-partnerships-helps-farmers-access-biological-pest-control/

  12. Farmers and partners share their take on FARMIS and how it assisting farmers in Meru County increase productivity and profitability
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le8C0SOhWZU&index=1&list=PLcBh5UfB2SJx5vYac4E8yaPV_dZZy0bRT
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7tCg2GTJeM&index=3&list=PLcBh5UfB2SJx5vYac4E8yaPV_dZZy0bRT
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKEGk1WuEt0&index=5&list=PLcBh5UfB2SJx5vYac4E8yaPV_dZZy0bRT