Smartphone App Helping Small-Scale Farmers In Kenya Fight Food Insecurity

With the World Health Organization estimating that 790 million folks battle with meals insecurity across the globe, blockchain know-how helps these weak to malnutrition in western Kenya. Last May, Virginia Tech researchers deployed smartphones geared up with a novel app within the East African nation in order that small-scale farmers can entry the data they should devour extra top-quality greens.

While African indigenous greens are a wholesome supply of micronutrients in Kenya, sadly, few folks eat them, particularly these residing in low-income households.

Smart farming

The challenge is being led by Virginia Tech’s Centre for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) in collaboration with Egerton University in Kenya and Australian startup, AgUnity. The blockchain-based app is designed to assist break down boundaries to the consumption of nutritious greens; entry for all.

How It Works

AgUnity’s Versio 3 App tracks the greens on their journey from the producer to the patron. The know-how means patrons can have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, comparable to how the produce was grown, transported to market, and processed, thus making a clear native meals system.

Furthermore, farmers, merchants, and retailers can use the app to examine costs and portions of accessible greens and whether or not growers used chemical fertilizers and pesticides within the fields. They can even examine the platform to promote their meals and see what varieties folks need.

“We expect that by the end of this project, producers, traders, and retailers will see higher profits from the sale of nutritious indigenous vegetables,” stated Jessica Agnew, assistant director of analysis, operations, and program administration at CIRED and one of many challenge leads. “The increased availability, quality, and competitive prices of the vegetables will result in consumers purchasing and eating the vegetables more often. We expect that increased information about the safety of the vegetables will also encourage consumers to eat vegetables in high enough quantities to support nutrition.”

A Step In The Right Direction

The smartphone app is proving how blockchain know-how may help resolve meals safety points. The inhabitants in sub-Saharan Africa is predicted to develop by 2 billion by 2050, and large efforts are wanted to spice up diet and the consumption of wholesome meals. Improving meals security and opening communication strains between producers and patrons are glorious methods to attain that objective.

Betty is a small-scale farmer from Kakamega in western Kenya who was educated to make use of the app to attach patrons along with her merchandise.

“The training has been helpful to me as a farmer,” she says. “I will no longer use inorganic fertilizer that I previously used. With the phone app, I will be confirming with retailers and traders if they need vegetables and how much before going to the farm to pluck, unlike previously when I would just do it blindly and not sell them, leading to losses.”

Smart farming

All transactions between customers are securely recorded on the app, which additionally affords different providers comparable to coaching and record-keeping.

Thus far, the rollout seems to achieve success. The challenge is now how efficient the app has been within the discipline.

“Looking ahead, we hope to explore more how the information stored on the app can inform consumers about the quality of the vegetables and how they can be cooked in a way that best retains their nutrition,” says Ralph Hall, affiliate director and affiliate professor within the School of Public and International Affairs and one of many challenge’s leads.

Just one small instance of how know-how is getting used for good.

Sources:

World Health Organization: The state of meals safety and diet on the earth 2020

Virginia Tech: Deployment of smartphones, app goals to enhance meals and diet safety in Kenya