Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nguruman Farmers embrace Sokopepe

Farmers around Nguruman irrigation scheme have embraced new marketing strategy  and have been visiting Nguruman Maarifa centre in response to Sokopepe mobile registration feedback SMS which requires them to visit the nearest agent with the details for further advice.

Sokopepe is an initiative of Arid Lands Information Networks (ALIN) aimed at harnessing the power of information and communication technologies in enabling farmers to efficiently reach and exploit a fair market for their produce. At the same time, it increases efficiency in the agriculture value chain providing  a platform  for farmers  to share information and execute electronic transactions.

Youth accessing Sokopepe information at the Maarifa centre
More than 300 farmers have registered for sokopepe in Nguruman alone. The same exercise has been on going in six other Maarifa centres spread across other counties. The innovation has received a warm welcome by community members with majority being the youth farmers who foresee a revolution in farming and access to markets as an opportunity to improve their livelihoods.

"I am pleased to have interacted with the system after I registered and successfully logged in... I was able to view the goods on sale.. I encourage other community members to use the system and enjoy access to better markets..." Joephilova loongiti. ....the registration process is simple and every farmer can register from a simple mobile handset.. thanks for the information. He added..

A farmer who represented Nguruman community during Sokopepe launching at Ng'arua Maarifa centre thanked ALIN for entrusting him and added that, he had lots of information to share with fellow farmers from the experience he obtained from  the exposure.

Jacob Naipaa, A young farmer who represented Nguruman community during sokopepe launching harvesting his Tomato crop
How to register
For one to register for Sokopepe, he/she needs to have a mobile phone not necessarily an internet enabled one.

Send an SMS to 20245:
Example: REG#2234524#Samuel#Kilovoo#Kajiado

Other services
To get market prices, send an SMS to 20245:
Example: Price#Beans#Nairobi

To get farming tips, send an SMS to 20245:
Example: Tip#watermelon

ALIN's Sokopepe innovation  has also been covered in print and online national media quoting it as 'changing the face of farming' and also ' connecting farmers with top buyers'.