By Mark Kawalya
A new mobile application has been developed by Ugandan innovators to enable farmers access farming technologies and equipment that they can hire and use to boost productivity of their farms. The platform will also provide a linkage from agricultural service providers to farmers.
Developed by AgriShare, a startup that hires and rents agricultural resources to farmers, the app can be accessed from the google store and will bring a network services that farmers can use.
“For many years, farmers have failed to get a number of services because they do not know where and how to access them. This application is coming to solve this. It can be accessed from wherever the farmer is,” Paul Zaake, AgriShare’s managing director said.
Zaake says that buy using equipment that for example facilitates agriculture, farmers will be able to engage in agriculture from a position of resilience to climate shocks, get better yields while mitigating value curbing food loss. They will also access services like easy transportation of produce to markets after harvest.
“Whether you are abroad or too busy to look for service providers in the agriculture sector, you will only need a smartphone and internet to access the services. For those who might always be busy in offices and are not able to tend to their farms, this application has a provision for someone to help you supervise it.”
Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the minister of ICT and National Guidance, while speaking during the launch of the app in Kampala said “This innovation will help farmers add value to the kind of work that they do. We are doing everything possible to get the country connected and with internet, such innovations will come in handy for use by farmers,” He added that currently more than half of Uganda’s population is connected to the internet. Dr. Baryomunsi also added that the government will find ways of integrating the innovation into the Parish Development Model, a new initiative of fighting poverty.
The AgriShare App has received recognition at the WFP Innovation Pitch Night where it won the jury award. Zaake says that smallholder farmers in Africa have for year lacked access to farming equipment and services, something that would boost their productivity and yields.
“The gap between supply and demand is large and among those who own and rent equipment, the level of underutilization is very high. This is because often farmers and service providers do not know about each other and that is where AgriShare App comes in.”