Farmers will henceforth obtain seeds to grow from MbeguChoice an online platform that seeks to help farmers select suitable seeds for their various climatic regions. The move by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization is in a bid to increase food production in the country by providing quality seeds.
Poor quality seeds has been the blame for poor agricultural products which is why also in conjunction is the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis), Agri Experience and seed companies to help farmer’s choose seeds for specific weather conditions and soils.
According to the Nation daily, the system targets popular seeds more for a strong food production system also allowing authorized producers to test new varieties on the platform that contains more than 200 commercialized crop varieties. The platform will be updated as often as new varieties hit the market.
Away from the usual try and error method used by farmers, farmers will also have the privilege to give feedback in order to influence upgrade of crops according to conditions or increase seed production in a case it is most preferred.
Farmers will either access the system through SMS and internet-enabled phones for in depth knowledge of seeds and farm inputs.
e-voucher for farmers
Meanwhile, Kenya Banks have moved to roll out electronic vouchers to promote fertiliser sales across the country in collaboration with Safaricom and the government. This vouchers are meant to reduce the cost of fertiliser purchased from a private firm or distributor. Thereafter, the private firm can cash the voucher in a specific government facility plus commission which in return represents a transfer of funds from the government to the farmer.
Besides multiplying food production in the country, the new system will help seal loopholes that have in the past looked out needy farmers from financial support. The ‘E-fertiliser subsidy management system’ will be well complimented by strides achieved in ICT mostly in mobile penetration.
Small holder Farmers will now receive subsidies from the government more easily and in a modernized and revolutionized way through mobile technology which will in return leverage on data and SMS services to manage the issuance, redemption and reconciliation of the new system vouchers.