26 June, 2013


June 25, 2013... Leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom has in partnership with Green Dreams Limited officially launched iCow, an SMS based mobile application aimed at promoting smart dairy farming.

By subscribing to the short code, *285#, Kenya's 5 million dairy farmers can now access tips on better farming methods which will help them improve their dairy output and subsequently, their revenues for Kshs. 3 per message.

"iCow survey data shows farmers who have been on iCow for 7 months begin to realize an increase of milk of between 2-3 litres per animal per day. This is an increase of about 610-930 litres a year which translates into an average increased income of 25-30k per animal per year. iCow data shows farmers have reduced cow and calf mortality thus enabling farmers grow their greatest asset base," Su Kahumbu, Green Dreams Limited.

iCow, has three main features namely: Kalenda, Mashauri and Vet. Kalenda offers farmers nutritional and vaccination tips for their cows during the gestational period up to and birth.  Mashauri on the other hand is a service that sends farmers three SMS tips every week on dairy farming while the Vet and Artificial Insemination service links farmers with professional veterinarians within their respective geographical areas on demand.

"iCow is an easy to use, affordable and convenient mobile phone application which will empower Kenya's dairy farmers with global best practices. iCow is a clear demonstration of how technology is positively impacting key spheres of our economy," said Safaricom CEO, Bob Collymore who spoke as he launched the service during this year's Brookside Breeders' Show.

Speaking during the launch, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Felix Koskei commended Safaricom for the innovative approach towards addressing farmers concerns.
He said, "ICT has over the years given the Agriculture Sector a wide berth. As a result farmers' yields have been on the decline and this has gradually seen the country lose its competitive edge to other countries."
"As a government, we believe that Kenya has the potential to provide agricultural produce to meet the country's need and even have enough for exports. We will therefore be looking for other innovators who will provide solutions to boost efficiency in our crop and animal rearing management, to help achieve this objective", he noted.

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