The lead up to this event was a well thought out plan of awarding a farmer a cow. Sponsors were sought and a plan put in place to do an official hand over with branded insignia for PR purpose as well as to give the sponsors due recognition.
The final farmer we met on our field visit on July 2nd was Joseph, who has a beautiful one acre farm in Limuru on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. He is 40 and married to Elizabeth, the mother of his 3 children and has 1 in calf heifer, 2 goats and 11 kienyeji chickens. He grows maize, beans, potatoes, vegetables and cattle fodder.
On July 2nd 2015 the iCow team visited 3 dedicated iCow farmers to discover how they were using the iCow services to improve their agricultural activities. First up was farmer Peter in Banana Hill. Peter is 48 yrs old, a father of 8 and lives on his farm which is 80 x 200m. He also rents a small piece of land nearby where he produces vegetables for the family ,maize and napier for his livestock. He is one of the first farmers on iCow having started in 2011 when we launched the first prototype.
A couple of weeks ago we received an email from a farmer thanking us for our service and mentioning she had increased her total milk turnover to 45 lts from 25lt and was working on reaching a total yield of 100lt daily by 2015.
So we called her.
Rachel is the proud owner of 5 Friesians. These include 3 heifers, one first calver, and two older cows. She lives in Nyahururu Kenya and has recently retired from her work and is now concentrating on farming. She joined iCow on 15th June 2011. Thus she has been on the iCow platform almost since the day we started! (June 3rd 2011)
On Friday the 25th of July I was lucky enough to pay a visit to Su Kahumbu, creator of iCow and her team at their offices in Nairobi to learn more about their mobile application and its effect on small-scale farmers in Kenya. My visit to iCow was part of a series of trips to various mobile application developers and companies who were involved in delivering mobile agricultural extension services to pre-dominantly small-scale farmers in Kenya.
"The greatest and only justification for what we do is in the success stories of iCow farmers"
This morning we spoke to Farmer Thuo who started using iCow on June 9th 2011 during the launch of our prototype at the Brookside Breeders Show in Nairobi. He has thus been on the platform for 2 yrs 8 months. His story is amazing! His only livestock are his 4 cows and 4 calves. Since joining iCow and implementing his new knowledge he says he looks at farming more serioiusly than before and has seen big changes in his yields as well as his animal health. One cow now produces 31 lts of milk compared to before when she produced only 15 lts at maximum production. Wow wow wow!!!