The dairy industry in Kenya is a Kshs 40billion industry supported largely by a network of 1.6m farmers. Most farmers are small scale and use rudimentary methods to manage their cows’ estrus cycle and milk production.
Smallholder farmers are estimated to sell an average of 3 to 5 litres per day; calculations show that 15 litres per day is the required production to bring a family over the poverty line.
Green Dreams TECH Ltd developed iCow®™ with the main motivation being to assist small scale farmers maximize their returns by addressing the following throughout their cows’ lifecycle:
- Awareness and management of the cow estrus cycle
- Optimum animal health care through information and access to Vets and AI Agents
- Optimum animal nutrition
- Milk record keeping
- Costs of milk production
- Prevention and cure of milk related diseases
- Feed Production
- Optimum Calf care
- Calf illnesses and diseases
iCow®™ will track each cow individually and allow the farmers to maintain all relevant information specific to each cow. It will give the farmer access to:
- A comprehensive Gestation Calendar customized to each cow based on the Date of Service (based on the AI ‘straw’ or any other known measure) and/or the Calving Date
- The Milking Calendar and customizable Milking Schedules
- The Milking Calculator
- A customizable Immunization Calendar
- Health Information Services
- Diet Information Services
- Nutrition Information Services
- Illness and Disease Information Services
- Costs of production customizable calendar and calculator
- Calf Records including gender, weight, Date of Birth, etc.
iCow will be accessed by farmers all through their mobile phones or the internet.
The application, which took first place in the recently conducted Apps4Africa competition, has been described as an innovation that will revolutionize our interaction with small-scale farmers.