Here at Truth, we are currently doing some really interesting work on technology in developing markets and as part of that, it’s been fascinating to see the impact and opportunities that lie ahead. Below is a link to a Ted Talk, which features a lady called Su Kahumbu who has developed an app in East Africa to support dairy farmers. Essentially, it reminds small-scale dairy farmers in Kenya of important periods in gestation. This was information farmers previously had to acquire by contacting veterinary offices or artificial insemination providers.
Now, via SMS, farmers register, inputting information about their livestock, and iCow pushes information and instructions to them, prompting them on what to do during vital gestation days. It also offers tips and information on feeding practices, disease control, and so on. It also provides a directory of nearby veterinarians and artificial inseminators. What is so interesting about this is that through the use of iCow and optimising the cow’s gestation period, farmers were able to produce another whole cows worth of milk production without the investment and maintenance required for taking on another animal.
The innovation around the use of technology in all developing economies right now is fascinating and shouldn’t be underestimated. iCow is but one small part of what is going on in order to utilise and leverage current assets through access to information that previously was difficult to come by, especially in particularly poor and rural areas. This is having a positive impact on people’s lives and in particular the economy by taking the guesswork out of practices and processes, empowering people through access to information. Easy access to a plethora of information is something that we take for granted in the West, however stories like these remind us of the true power of information and connectivity.