Appy Agriculture

argylesock says… Kenyan farmers are reaping the benefits of mobile phones and modern financial services.


By Joel Macharia

John Mwangi stands in his wooden shed counting bags of maize neatly bundled in burlap.

The 90kg bags sit on slats raised two feet off the earthen floor, protecting the maize from damp and rodents. A few hens scratch the earth, pecking at the grains that have fallen out.

The 44-year-old farmer finishes counting at 149 and takes out his cellphone. He enters the number into a message and hits the send button.

A few seconds later, he receives a text message with the latest price of maize in Nairobi. He puts the phone back in his overall pocket, content that he knows how much he will earn from these bags of maize.

Mr Mwangi is one of 6,400 farmers in Kenya taking advantage of this new high-tech service, powered by M-Farm, according to Jimmy Wambua, an M-Farm spokesman.

Three young software developers in their…

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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