Kenyan farmers set to reap big from yield boosting software

Lakshman Manickam, G-Dane Tech chief operating
Lakshman Manickam, G-Dane Tech chief operating officer. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Farmers are set to reap big from a new software that will allow them pick right crops to grow, the best ways of growing them as well as manage farm inventory.

The software developed by G-Dane Tech Ltd is aimed at ensuring farmers boost yields and qualify for funds from financial institutions owing to their proper record keeping.

The software named the Farm Management System, is available on mobile, web-based and desktop applications and targets 2.5 million farmers in two years.

“With proper farm records, farmers will be more qualified for microfinance and insurance products offered by various institutions, thus transform from just agriculture to agribusiness,” said Lakshman Manickam, G-Dane chief operating officer.

Accounting system

He said the software which is set for rollout in September is a result of in-depth research on farmers’ needs with the objective of improving their livelihoods.

Farmers will be trained on better ways of managing their farming business using the software which comes installed with an accounting system.

Contracted agriculture officers will continuously train the farmers on how to test the soil, improve its fertility, advice on best seeds for planting, animals to keep, and how to interpret the reports generated by the system.

“This technical team will give us feedback, a network we will leverage on to offer solutions for improvement of livelihoods of our beneficiaries,” said Mr Manickam.

G-Dane Tech is currently looking to recruit 3,000 individuals to pilot the implementation of the Farm Management System across the country.

The first phase of the project which will largely work with farmers in over 22,000 organised groups and saccos, will incorporate 17 counties and will run for two years.

The groups are set to benefit from system support and agricultural services such as soil testing, farm advice, farm inputs, software use and hardware maintenance from G-Dane Tech.

Farmers will also be able to access subsidised farm inputs including fertiliser, animal feeds, seedlings and pesticides through the groups they belong to.

Mr Manickam said that the project expects to see the agriculture sector contributing 50 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product by 2020.

The project is expected to create an estimated 10,000 direct jobs and over 100,000 indirect jobs, which will propel Kenya closer to being a middle-income country.