Agricultural digital conference takes farming beyond tilling and weeding Read more at: https://www.

Date & Time: 2018-05-29 22:36:15

Stakeholders in the East African agricultural sector have gathered in Nairobi for a three-day summit to showcase the latest technology and brainstorm on swift ways to digitise the sector. Dubbed the East Africa Digital Farmers Conference, it brings together over 650 farmers, innovators, telecommunications firms and technology companies. ALSO READ: Miraa farmers plan protest over delay in Sh2.2 billion usage Agriculture Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Andrew Tuimur said that ICT solutions played a key role in ensuring the future food security of the country and also pulling in the youth to the sector. “Agriculture is changing fast, we need to make it more digital in order to also bring in more youth to the sector,” said the CAS. He added that the Ministry would soon carry out a national registration exercise of farmers in order to create a database that brings together farmers and policy makers. “The Ministry is gearing up towards launching national farmers registration exercise that will provide a database of all farmers within Kenya expected that agriculture related ICT applications will feed in to this and support our farmers and indeed policy makers in a vast way,” he said. Avoid fake news! Subscribe to the Standard SMS service and receive factual, verified breaking news as it happens. Text the word 'NEWS' to 22840 The CAS added that the summit would prove useful for smallholder farmers on use of ICT innovations and called for working with the private sector to make the technology affordable. He said farmers would be able to make right decisions based on information they received on their phones. The conference, themed Enabling Farming through ICT and Innovation, will take place at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO). 14 new mobile applications and a knowledge hub targeting farmers have already been unveiled at the exhibition. ALSO READ: Kiunjuri promises to name 'big fish' in maize scandal The applications are able to alert farmers on pests and provide information on crop diseases and might soon be translated into vernacular to reach more farmers. Read more at: KALRO Director General Eliud Kireger noted that there existed poor mechanisms for sharing and exchanging agriculture knowledge. Kireger said the challenges could be solved by systematically storing all the country’s agriculture information under knowledge management systems. “ICT platform is key to this knowledge management systems, thus bringing together stakeholders and farmers to this great event is to forge ahead and create such a system in agriculture and irrigation for the good of the farmer as well as other players in the agriculture sector. Read more at: