Coffee Farmers to Receive Warnings on Storms Via Texts

Sam Wakoba | HumanIPO | May 9, 2012

More than 7500 coffee farmers in Kenya could start receiving message prompts with warnings on storms and plagues by the end of the year, says IICD. The automated SMS system that connects farmers mobile phones to a central computer is expected to enable farmers around Nairobi and Mount Kenya receive the messages on the phones through an early SMS warning system.

International Institute for Communication and development, IICD, country manager Anne Marijke Podt said her organization alongside the Progreso Foundation and the Frontline SMS are setting up a project with three coffee cooperatives in the Mount Kenya region - Ndumberi, Gakundu and Kagaari. Podt told HumanIPO the system is expected to improve service delivery of coffee cooperatives to their members aside from warning farmers of heavy rains ahead.

The software system will also manage automated SMS weight and price systems for the farmers. According to Podt, the SMS platform is fixed to a digital weighing system at the coffee factories and would enable farmers to weigh coffee digitally as well as determine accurate pricing. The project will also foster ICT training and hopes to coach more than 1700 coffee farmers on how to use the SMS system by the end of the year...