iCow – An App Developed To Help Dairy Farmers
In the year 2010, the USA Department of State sponsored an East African regional competition which would showcase developments from the local talented developers from the East Africa region. The program was dubbed Apps 4 Africa, and its main agenda is to discover, fund and assist Africa’s most innovative startup social enterprises and companies. They do this by providing funding to up to $10,000 for promising projects under favorable conditions.
The Apps 4 Africa initiative lead to regional competition from local talented software developers within the East Africa region; the competition was based on finding technological solutions to some of the socio-economic problems being faced in the region. There were hundreds of application from various savvy developers and tech geeks from various regions in East Africa. The App that to won the competition was the iCow App, which is currently under the management of The Green Dreams TECH Ltd.
The iCow App is a text (SMS) and voice-based app for mobile phones which can help dairy farmers in Kenya in animal husbandry thus improving their efficiency and productivity. In essence this app gives famers professional care on their dairy cows which will ensure that they take a healthier and more productive approach in keeping and taking care of their animals.
The iCow App Services:
The Kenyan dairy industry is estimated to be worth about USD 471 Million (About Kshs 40 Billion). The main producers in this industry is a network of about 1.6m farmers, most of whom are small scale farmers using rudimentary production methods in taking care of their milk production and monitoring the cows’ estrus cycle.
It is estimated that individual small scale farmer yields between 3-5 liters of milk in a day, yet statistics show it would require the farmer to yield more than 15 liters each day to raise the family’s income above the poverty line. The iCow App seeks to enhance the small scale farmers in achieving efficiency and better animal care in order for them to get higher return from their cows. It achieves this by showing the farmers important tips as listed below:
- Management and awareness on the cows’ estrus cycle.
- The best animal nutritional care.
- Access to AI Agents and VET services for optimum animal health.
- Prevention and cure for milk related diseases.
- Best calf and heifer care tips.
- Prevention and treatment of Calf and Heifer diseases.
- Record keeping for milk production.
- Production of animal feeds.
- Accounting for costs of milk production.
Green Dreams TECH Ltd keeps track on each individual cow on its database through the iCow app, and enables the farmers to have all important information pertaining to their cow(s) by availing to them the following iCow App services:
- A very comprehensive Gestation Calendar for each heifer and cow registered on their database. This is based on the Date of Service.
- Immunization calendar that is customized to the particular cow.
- Information on the best diet for each cow based on its health, stage in gestation among others.
- Information on various types of nutrition.
- Cure and prevention on various diseases and illnesses.
- A calf calendar indicating the best practices for rearing calves which will enable them reach their best genetic potential.
- Calf Records.
- Various information about animal health and care tips.
Farmers can access the iCow App through all types of mobile phones: entry level, middle level and high-end phones. Another option for accessing the iCow App is through the iCow App Website www.icow.co.ke.