Technology is transforming the African continent. In East Africa alone there are 50 million mobile phone subscribers and an increasing number of mobile web users. Across the region, the number of IT graduates and tech entrepreneurs is exploding, providing new opportunities to foster social and economic growth. Last year Apps4Africa was organized through the support of the U.S. government and the winner was iCow.
iCow, a voice-based mobile application that helps farmers track the estrus stages of their cows. This application can enable farmers everywhere to better manage breeding periods as well as monitor cow nutrition leading up to the calving day. This will help farmers get the most of their cows and their farms. From Kenya, Charles Kithika is the first place winner receiving $5,000 and an Apple iPad.
We just noticed that The Indigo Trust has has awarded a grant of £10,536 to the prize-winning iCow app. The grant is to be used towards the cost of setting up a customer care centre designed to handle feedback and provide support to registered users.
Due to be launched in Kenya later this month, iCow is a mobile application that has been specially developed for small-scale dairy farmers. The app acts as a virtual veterinary nurse and midwife for dairy farmers, giving advice on issues such as gestation, milk production and fodder. Specifically designed to run on low-end phones and available in a number of languages, iCow delivers SMS or voice messages to farmers that have registered for the service. Once registered, users input key data about their cow, such as expected calving or insemination date, and receive tailored messages and advice on caring for their cow. It is hoped that this innovative app, which won first prize in a recent Apps4Africa competition, will reduce cow mortality and lead to healthier calves and better yields for dairy farmers.