An Update from iCow

Indigo grantee iCow have been going from strength to strength in the last couple of months. Here’s their September update:

The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity for iCow. Apart from exhibiting nationally at the Nyeri, Nakuru and Nairobi Shows, we were invited to exhibit iCow at two international events The Power of Information conference in London and the Share Fair conference in Rome.

The iCow platform meanwhile has grown to include new exciting features and we are developing strategic partnerships and collaborations with Government, NGO, Development Institutions, Donors, Private Sector as well as Regional partners.

Based on the successes so far, we are now focusing on developing a great model to scale across the country and hopefully the region.



New Features

iCow Crowd Map: Merging technologies – Web savvy farmers can now access iCow features on the iCow crowd map . On the map one can find contacts to the entire agricultural extension service as well as the animals for sale posted on iCow Soko. This would not have been possible without the great Ushahidi platform originally designed for crisis mapping!  A classic example of technology merging for the benefit of smallholder farmers.

iCow Alerts

On Sept 9th farmers called us for advice on the current foot and mouth outbreak. In response to their call and after consultation with the Veterinary Services we sent out the following message to all iCow farmers over the mobile platform:

Free Alert: Isolated cases of foot and mouth disease in Kabete, Thika East, Banana & Central Province. Contact your nearest DVO or Vet for precautionary advice

iCow users have responded enthusiastically to the free alert:

‘Good work with these alerts! Keep it up’

‘Asante and mention the affected areas in Central pls pls..’

‘Thank you for the information’

‘Great job guys. Keep it up.’

Discussions are now underway on using iCow as an early warning system both in sending alerts to the field as well as collecting (crowd sourcing) alerts from farmers in the field. Again, in this case using the iCow crowd map as a crisis tool for the agricultural sector.

The text of this blog post was provided by iCow.