Kenyan Startup, Ujuzikilimo is Using Data Analytics to Help Farmers with Crop Productivity
UjuziKilimo (Swahili: knowledge or experience) which was founded in Nairobi in 2015 by Brian Bosire, is an Agritech company that collects and analyzes data to provide actionable insights that inform the agriculture industry.
Poor soil quality leads to decreased crop yields and underutilization of farm lands in Africa.
The average output of cereal crops in Africa is 12,650 Hg/Ha vs 73,404 Hg/Ha in United States. Additionally, agriculture supplies can’t keep up with the increasing population demand, creating a food crisis.
One in four people are considered malnourished in Africa. Food costs account for 50 to 70 percent of total household expenses and this is the problem that Ujuzikilimo, a startup founded by in is trying to solve
UjuziKilimo has developed a sensors based soil testing kit to analyze soil quality and location of the farm, and send the values instantly to a database.
The database through an algorithm analyzes and sends appropriate recommendations on suitable seeds, soil treatment methods, water level required, fertilization for optimum crop production, additional relevant agricultural information, and connection of farmers with suppliers of the necessary farm inputs and the average pricing of the inputs- to the farmer’s phone via short messages.
Additional information such as weather updates, market availability, organic farming methods, and disease-monitoring updates among other relevant information is available for a low-cost monthly subscription fee.
The database provides weather updates and precision farming tips based on the information gathered from sensors that farmers insert into the ground to read the soil quality and pH values. The machine learning and data analytics platform is even faster than Wefarm, delivering answers in less than two minutes. The startup has been dubbed “Uber for farmers” by Forbes Africa.
In recognition of its impact, the startup has been recipient of ASME Foundation Hardware Innovation Challenge (Winner) and Current Finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation among others.