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Technology

More farmers sign up to new digital platform to grow yields

Vitalis Wafula
Yara East Africa Limited Commercial Director Vitalis Wafula talks to farmers in Endebess, Trans-Nzoia County during a field day last year. PHOTO | COURTESY 

An agricultural digital platform is increasingly becoming popular among farmers who are seeking to boost their yields and grow their incomes.

About 52,000 farmers have downloaded the Yara Farmweather App that enables them to make reliable agricultural decisions for higher yields.

The app was launched last June following a partnership between Yara and IT giant IBM where spatial data on weather patterns for specific regions is provided to farmers.

Head of digital farming at Yara Fred Nyambare said the platform, currently only available on Google Play Store, has been upgraded to include a feedback platform where farmers can ask a variety of questions regarding their farming activities.

“The Farmweather App gives you information of the fertiliser to be used in a specific region for a specific crop. We are looking forward to working with app developers to incorporate other services such as market information,” he said.

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Mr Nyambare told Digital Business that they are looking to acquire or partner with, startups that offer various services that improve small farmer incomes.

Yara Country Manager Bill Ng’eno said information uploaded on Yara Farmweather App was generated from research where its field agronomists tested soils at various locations to help them understand the nutritional needs for growing various crops.

“We want to make a contribution towards a healthy society by ensuring crop grown get the required nutrients via the right application of fertilisers. Otherwise, we will produce nutrient-deficient foodstuffs that people eat to fill the stomach,” he said.

The app provides farmers with a four-kilometre wide weather data enabling them to make the right information on various farming activities.

“It is not only about Yara products, but how to improve our farming practices to increase yields as well as get nutrient-rich farm produce,” he said.

The app, Mr Ng’eno noted, also contains step-by-step instructions on growing of various crops where farmer activities are informed by weather patterns.

Yara is currently working with eight county governments with a view to helping smallholder farmers improve production.

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