Agriculture is a sector that most Kenyans are shying away from because it’s involving. In addition, everybody wants to live in urban ares and work in an office. To uplift agriculture in the country, an agricultural solution, Ukulima application emerged the top project out of 300 submitted to the Orange Developer Challenge. Orange Developer Challenge is a platform that gives start-ups an opportunity to harness their skills and build up a profitable business.
Mobile apps and websites have been embraced by many companies to make work easier and create employment. Majorly, this is made possible by the effort given by the government to tech companies and start-ups that are trying to make a difference in the world like Ukulima. Ukulima application provides farmers and users with information on produce market prices in different counties and enables them to correctly price their products and explore new markets, thus increasing profitability and avoiding exploitation from middlemen.
In Orange Developer Challenge, Julisha Mzazi and Tru Medic came in second and third respectively. Julisha Mzazi allows parents to receive their children’s school results and other education related information through text messages. Julisha Mzazi is a creative innovation that will make students put more effort in education since parents will be able to enforce that. On the other hand, Tru Medic provides a simple verification process that allows users to determine if medical staff are qualified or not.
Users of Julisha Mzazi are also able to determine if health facilities are registered and have met all regulatory thresholds.
Besides the three, many people submitted their projects to the panel which were shortlisted to 10 projects. The other projects were Blood Donation, mHealth, Pata License, Mtaani, Bidhaa Pepe, IsMoto and Patikana.
Judging criteria was based on best integration of mobile Application Program Interfaces (SMS, USSD and Operator billing), innovation, business value, positive social and environmental impact, creativity, clear and realistic objectives.
“The number of submissions we received in this competition is a clear indication of the increasing scope of technology innovation in Kenya. We received applications across different sectors including mobile finance, e-governance, lifestyle, e-commerce, education and transport,” said Orange Kenya CEO, Vincent Lobry.
The winning project Ukulima application, was awarded KSh. 350,000 with the first runner-up, Julisha Mzazi receiving KSh. 100,000 and the second runner-up, Tru Medic KSh. 50,000. Ukulima, developed by Maxwell Gakombe and his team, is in the running to win the global prize of 10,000 Euros (Kshs. 1,000,000), as it competes with the rest of the AMEA (African, Middle East and Asian Countries) region and France.