ICT FOR AGRICULTURE
Challenges such as inefficient farming practices are among
drivers of rural poverty and food insecurity in Rwanda. As such, there is a great need for
technology-powered solutions that enhance agriculture efficiency, sustainability and
resilience especially in resources limited settings.
To address the complexities of developing, deploying and managing digital technology in agriculture, AGRIRESEARCH UNGUKA Ltd leverages cutting edge technologies to provide novel digital solutions for the current pressing farming challenges.
Our technologies improve pest and disease control, connect producers to consumers, improve farming information access, increase mechanization, and support producers in the adoption of smart farming practices.
OUR SERVICES FOR FARMERS
- Technologically assist farmers in their daily farming activities to increase farm productivity and profitability
- Increase digital literacy among farmers by providing training on use of ICT in agriculture
- We provide online agricultural marketing services
OUR SERVICES FOR AGRIBUSINESSES
- We facilitate market linkage and enable smooth business operations with agribusinesses that need to have online presence and agri-tech companies willing to leverage technologies
- We develop market-oriented agri-tech solutions such as mobile and web apps, IoT and embedded systems
In response to the effects of climate change and in efforts to boost productivity, advances
in agricultural technologies have allowed increased access to artificial fertilizers,
chemical pesticides, and high yield potential seed varieties. Nonetheless, most of small
scale farmers are illiterate and thus, they lack information and knowledge on the proper
and efficient use of those agricultural inputs. Indeed, this has led to devastating effects ranging from low
environmental pollution to potentially deadly human health conditions.
Therefore, we developed SmartInput; a relatively intuitive mobile application that helps small scale farmers to access real-time information on the use of agricultural inputs as precise and simple as possible to increase farm productivity and profitability while ensuring farmers safety and protecting the environment. This app was selected by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and featured in its youth solutions report 2020 as one of 50 youth-led global innovative solutions.
The role of extension has thus widened to include issues in rural areas that go
beyond agriculture and may include services such as dissemination of information about markets,
facilitation of linkages among market actors. Some of these tasks are unlikely to be undertaken
by the types of organizations normally associated with extension. As a result, access to updated
agricultural information and market is still among the major problems farmers are facing in Rwanda
and developing countries. Therefore, to address the issue, we developed AGRITrials; a
mobile application that connects farmers, agricultural students, agronomists, buyers and field
experts to share knowledge and experience across a wide range of topics including Agricultural
research and extension services.
AGRITrials helped more than 500 farmers, mainly young women and men get buyers and find solutions to their daily farming challenges in real time especially amid COVID-19 where movements were restricted to contain the spread of the virus. As an innovation in response to the pandemic, AGRITrials was one of the awardees of Young Entrepreneurs Resilience Fund, launched by The Ministry of youth and culture in partnership with UNDP Rwanda and KOICA-Kigali during the pandemic in support of the government’s economic recovery plan.
AGRITrials was also the winner of video competition in April 2021 organized by Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC); a USAID project. This app was among top 3 global initiatives in digitalization of extension services by DLEC project.
In Rwanda, 70% of population depends primarily on small scale agriculture
and 90% of the smallholder farming is rain fed.
To address this, we developed an automated irrigation system that uses solar energy, harvested water,
humidity sensing and latest IoT technologies to provide efficient and affordable irrigation
services to smallholder farmers in Rwanda. Our irrigation component does not require
intensive labor force and it is a fully automated cost-effective system that uses solar power.
The advantages of our system include but not limited to provision of error free installation, protecting plants against frost, suppressing weed growth in grain fields compared to common irrigation solutions and soil health maintenance by preventing soil consolidation.