Agriculture is the backbone of the economy, contributing over 27% of the GDP and employing 78 % of the labour force in Tanzania. According to a report shared by the World bank, on World Food Day, the percentage of small-scale farmers with mobile phones in Tanzania is 66%. This makes Tanzania one of the countries in Africa with the highest number of mobile phone users, in the agriculture sector. Additionally, about 96% of the population has access to cellphones. A similar survey conducted in Uganda and Mozambique revealed the number of smallholder farmer mobile owners to be 46% and 33% respectively. Mobile phones are also widely used in the region for financial services such as money transfers due to the distance from financial providers. In the wake of all these the question then remains, how can mobile technology benefits farmers?Apart from providing them with financial services, mobile applications are a good place to start. Here are a number of some mobile apps farmers can actually use.
The SMS-based application assists farmers with market information on various farm crops. Farmers get tips on how to grow major crops like maize, rice, Irish potatoes, tomatoes, and bananas. In addition to this, one can also get 1-5 days’ weather forecast for over 26 regions in the country. To activate this service, Tigo users can simply dial *148*41# and register for free, to enjoy the sms-app features.
The Kilimo Bora app provides tips on basic farming activities like crop planting and livestock keeping. The information offered in the app will provide enough guidance for any person trying to venture into farming. The app further provides information on how to take of care crops, from how to handle pests to the best pesticides in the market. It also provides information on the best farming practices.
Yara Image IT
For a modern farmer who wants to analyze the nitrogen intake of his or her crops, Yara Image IT will assist you to detect that, using images. All you have to do it take a picture of the leaf and the app will tell you the nitrogen uptake based on leaf cover, leaf green color and the estimated fraction of the brown leaf. The app will advise you on the fertilizers needed for your crops, based on the image analysis.
The Agriapp gives farmers information on a wide array of topics, from soil varieties and climate to harvesting and proper storage procedures.To differentiate it from other apps, it has a chat feature that lets farmers talk to scientists who can give expert advice and recommendations. It also has videos which have how-to farming guides, feeding advice for animal farmers, and ways of treating various diseases.
Why not go the extra mile and download the ZoomTanzania app to get the latest farming tools and equipment to improve your productivity.