Cooperative University gets server to support agriculture platform

Cooperative University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kamau Ngamau (right) receives the server's manual from Prof Isaac Nyamongo, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor

The Cooperative University of Kenya has acquired a state-of-the-art server that will enable it to assist farmers through a digital platform.

The server donated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), will be the backbone of the Kenya Rural Transformation Centres Digital Platform (KRTCDP), a 3-year initiative that aims to put farmers at the centre of a single electronic “ecosystem”. The project which is domiciled at the University is intended to connect them with all actors along the agriculture value chain besides enabling the streamlining of processes in the country’s agricultural sector. It will facilitate the streamlining of processes coupled with mobile phone-based innovations to reach small-scale farmers. This will enhance linkages between upstream, midstream and downstream agriculture value chain activities.

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Thanking the AfDB for the support, the Cooperative University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kamau Ngamau said it will have a big impact on the smallholder farmers.  “The farmers can get into an ecosystem where they can be able to receive all the resources that they need to produce in terms of the inputs that they require, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and even the information that they require whether it is weather data or agricultural extension services. All that kind can be obtained from one source through the platform and even market access to credit and this is going to transform the farmers’ income because they will now be able to get optimal markets for their produce and this is going to lead to a situation where we can enhance development,” said the Vice-Chancellor.

Cooperative University of Kenya Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kamau Ngamau

Prof Ngamau said the project is being implemented in partnership with co-operatives and other stakeholders. It is being implemented in Nakuru, Baringo, Narok and Nyandarua Counties. The value chains targeted are maize, potatoes, and dairy.

Apart from the co-operatives, other stakeholders expected to reap from the project are agro-dealers, private sector entities, financial institutions, government agencies, development partners, and researchers.

The Vice-Chancellor added that farmers will be able to access the information through their phones since smartphones have become affordable and available. They are also working with the developers to enable this information to be accessed through a USSD code so that even a farmer without a smartphone can benefit. There will be a pilot phase where this will be tested uh to ensure that it is fully working before it is fully rolled out.

Prof Isaac Nyamongo, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor said the server is equipped with 24 Hard Drives, boasting ample storage capacity to accommodate the evolving needs of the university’s digital ecosystem while ensuring unparalleled computing power and speed.

Cooperative University of Kenya Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Isaac Nyamongo

The KRTCDP project which was officially launched in May last year, is funded through the African Development Bank’s Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA). During its launch, the Agriculture Secretary, State Department of Crop Development, Josephat Muhunyu, said modern technology is key and is the only way to bring the youth on board and become smart farmers.

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