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Heifer International to give 2,000 online access to agriculture data

A dairy farmer feeds his cows at Mwireri Village in Nyandarua on June 15, 2017. PHOTO | JOHN GITHINJI | NMG
A dairy farmer feeds his cows at Mwireri Village in Nyandarua on June 15, 2017. PHOTO | JOHN GITHINJI | NMG 

The Heifer International has launched a programme to provide more agricultural market information to 2,000 farmers who have no Internet access.

The non-profit firm, based in Arkansas, US, said it is partnering with London-based Wefarm, a free service that lets farmers use mobile phones to ask questions or seek tips through a local number.

The responses come from other farmers who are on the network and have answers to the questions posed. The Heifer-Wefarm partnership targets farmers in Nakuru County, said George Odhiambo, Heifer country director in Kenya.

“Like anyone in business, farmers need accurate, timely information that empowers them to make smart decisions about prices, markets, investments and other key factors that determine their prosperity,” Mr Odhiambo said.

Heifer said Wefarm connects local farmers with a global network of 240,000 farmers, who can share information such as market pricing, new farming techniques or diseases affecting crops and livestock.

“This partnership with Heifer is very important to Wefarm,” said Kenny Ewan, CEO of Wefarm.

“Our mutual belief in the value of peer-to-peer knowledge and shared commitment to creating sustainable initiatives for farmers through the latest technologies are sure to produce great results.”

Small-scale farmers produce about 70 per cent of the world’s food. But most of them have no internet and struggle to get basic information.

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