The nonprofit Heifer International is launching a partnership in Kenya with Wefarm, a free service that enables farmers without internet access to use their mobile phones to share agricultural information vital to their livelihoods.
Small-scale farmers produce about 70 percent of the world’s food. But most of them have no internet and struggle to get basic information about things such as market pricing, new farming techniques and diseases that affect their crops and livestock.
The London-based Wefarm helps keep farmers better informed by connecting them with a global network of 240,000 farmers – the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing network.
The service enables the farmers to use their mobile phones to text questions or tips to a local Wefarm number for free. The messages are instantly posted online and then sent via text messages to selected members of the Wefarm community, which reply with text messages.
The Heifer-Wefarm partnership will involve about 2,000 farmers in Nakuru County in the Rift Valley region of western Kenya, said George Odhiambo, country director in Kenya for Heifer, a Little Rock, Arkansas.-based nonprofit working to end hunger and poverty with sustainable agriculture and entrepreneurship.
“Like anyone in business, farmers need accurate, timely information that empowers them to make smart decisions about prices, markets, investments and other key factors that determine their prosperity,” Odhiambo said.
Kenny Ewan, CEO of Wefarm, said, “This partnership with Heifer is very important to Wefarm. Our mutual belief in the value of peer-to-peer knowledge and shared commitment to creating sustainable initiatives for farmers through the latest technologies are sure to produce great results. We look forward to working with the entire Heifer Kenya team.”
ABOUT HEIFER INTERNATIONAL
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, we have provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. We currently work in more than 25 countries, including the U.S., to help families and communities become self-reliant. Our goal is to help 4 million families achieve living incomes by 2020, which will allow them to feed their families daily; educate all their children; and have proper housing, water, hygiene and other essential resources. For information, visit Heifer.org, read our blog, follow us on Facebook, on Twitter or call 888.5HUNGER (888.548.6437).
Wefarm, the world’s largest knowledge-sharing network for small-scale farmers, lets farmers connect with one another around the world to solve problems, share ideas and spread innovation. Farmers can share crucial livestock and crop knowledge, request creative low-cost farming methods, or ask questions relating to any type of agricultural input or output — without having to leave their farms and without needing internet. Utilising the latest machine learning technology, Wefarm’s service works both online and over SMS. Knowledge shared on Wefarm can help farmers to produce higher quality product, increase yields, gain insight into marketing pricing, tackle the effects of climate change, source the best seeds, fertiliser and loans, diversify agricultural interests, and much more.
Since its founding in 2015, Wefarm has been named one of Africa’s Most Innovative Companies by FastCompany and has won Google’s prestigious Impact Challenge Award, TechCrunch’s Europas-Tech for Good Award, and the European Union Commission’s Ideas from Europe prize, among others. The company is headquartered in London with field presence in Nairobi, Kampala and Lima. For more information see http://wefarm.org, follow Wefarm on Twitter @we_farm and connect with Wefarm on Facebook and LinkedIn.