ICT for Agriculture – Farm record and Access to Markets

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