As the clouds part and the morning sun seeps through, Eunice Boule wakes up and begins her day by cleaning up around the house. She cleans her utensils and equipment and once she’s finished, she’s ready to begin farming.
Kenya has some of the best farming conditions on the planet, but many farmers find it hard to support their families. With 83% of Kenyans now online, new attempts to improve harvests are being made.
Mrs. Boule takes a break from the hard work and sits by her house as she scrolls through the smartphone that she got last year. She says, “I’m a farmer and I have a family of seven children, but some of them aren’t at school because I can’t afford the fees. Now I have this smartphone and I can use the Haller Farmers App to find out how to grow certain vegetables.”
The Haller Farmers app provides smallholders with affordable, organic and environmentally-friendly farming techniques to help maximise food production and build self-sustaining communities. Now she can learn how to grow new and different crops and grow surplus produce to sell and make an income.
Mrs. Boule uses her phone to teach other community members, family and friends how to grow vegetables. The app provides information by text and audio. “If you can’t read then there is a voice here you can listen to, you press this button,” she explains to a friend as she demonstrates how the app works. As she presses the microphone icon, a woman’s voice explains in Swahili the step by step process of how to harvest okra.
She says that now she can use Haller Farmers to “get new ideas about farming and for other things like chatting and making sales.”
The Noticeboard feature allows farmers to interact with one another and directly contact the Haller Kenya Team for advice, farming updates and market prices.
As Mrs. Boule pulls luscious green vegetables from her field she tells us that with her latest harvest, she was able to earn enough money from the sales in order to pay for her children’s school fees. Without this access to mobile technology and Haller Farmers, she wouldn’t have been able to achieve this. Now, her goal is to use the app to help “rebuild her house, take off the soil and build it with stone.”
Haller Farmers has digitised 50 years of local agricultural knowledge and made it open access in the hope of helping ensure world food security. It can be downloaded from the Good Play app store. Learn more about the app in this guide, available in English and Swahili.
Haller plans to increase accessibility across Africa by expanding and scaling up. Learn more about their work and the Haller Farmers app: https://haller.org.uk/impact/the-app/
For more information, contact Zoe Kremer: [email protected]