precision agriculture kilimopap mobile application




PRECISION AGRICULTURE- KILIMOPAP MOBILE APPLICATION


INTRODUCTION


KilimoPAP mobile application is an agriculture technology project that was conceptualized and actualized by Enactus Egerton University Main Campus. The project seeks to improve agricultural productivity by empowering the youth to venture into agribusiness. Kilimo Pap is an integrated mobile application system that provides a link between the physical farm and digital farm through automation. Through the application of technology in agriculture specifically precision agriculture, KilimoPAP mobile application makes agriculture more profitable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly.


NEED
The mobile application was developed to reduce wastage associated with agriculture by ensuring precision. KilimoPAP Team observed the high number of unemployed youth, the agricultural productivity capability of Kenya and losses associated with agricultural products. The application addresses the dilemma of famine and hunger by empowering the youth to become farmers. The youth are the most proactive of the population yet most of them remain unemployed because they prefer white collar jobs over agriculture. Most youths tend to shy away from agriculture considering it unattractive due to the limited access, low returns, and lack of a market-lead approach in the agricultural sector. In addition, agriculture is labor intensive and requires a strong seasonal component.


INTERVENTION
KilimoPAP team intervened by developing a mobile application that will make agriculture easy, efficient and enjoyable. The mobile application focuses on digital farming which is the application of new technologies such as data science and digital communication channels. Through KilimoPap, one is able to access real-time data by monitoring of agricultural parameters such as soil moisture, temperature, soil pH, humidity, pests and diseases. The app makes it possible to carry out agricultural practices like fertigation, irrigation, procurement of agricultural inputs and agricultural extension services. In addition, KilimoPap connects farmers who wish to sell their produce to the consumers. The registration and signing up of farmers will help in the collection of critical data which will help in knowing the location of the farm, the size of the land under production, details of the farmer. The data collected will be used in helping farmers, private firms and the government in planning and knowing the total area under production. The analysis of the data is significant to establish if the country is achieving food security, agenda number one in Kenya’s big 4 agenda. Additionally information collected from farmers will be stored made retrievable by the farmer for future purpose. The data collected in the form of farm records is essential as it enables planning for subsequent crops to be planted in future. The digitalization of agriculture will enable key players in the sector to establish a feedback mechanism on performance and design based agricultural needs.

TECHNOLOGICAL ASPECT
 Integration of all methods through development of a mobile app/software and linking it to monitoring gadgets/devices in the farm to facilitate real time feeds on conditions of the crops in the farm.
 Use of tech to do efficient and precision application of all inputs in required quantities and at right time.
  Link farmers with Agro-input companies, processing companies and post-harvest storage and data storage of every farmer on the activities that take place in the farm.
  Remotely carry out all farm practices such irrigation, chemigation, pest and disease identification through a smartphone.
  Provision of agronomic services to farmers through USSD, links in the app and online chat services with qualified agronomist.
  Ability to quantify the expected output per square meter due to real data collected by the gadgets in the field.

OUTCOME
KilimoPAP mobile application ensures precision agriculture as farmers are no longer required to apply water, fertilizers, and pesticides uniformly across the entire farm. Instead, they can apply minimum quantities required and target very specific areas or even treat individual plants differently according to their specific requirements and needs. KilimoPAP mobile App will benefit its users in the following ways:  Higher crop productivity
 Reduce post-harvest losses by connecting farmers through the Soko
 Provide a link between farmers and agricultural services and specialists such as agronomists
 Decreased use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which in turn translates to reduced product prices
 Storage of specific farm data and farm records
The ultimate goal is to make farming attractive, interesting and fun so as to increase the number of youths participating in agriculture. This will increase agricultural productivity making Kenya food and nutrition secure.

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