Wednesday, 9 May 2012

iCow: A Dairy's Farmer Best Friend!

My recent research reveals a lot of mobile applications centered around improving the productivity of agriculture in general. And more so,many more are being developed as each day unveils. Unfortunately, they are still to go viral like their counterparts Facebook and Twitter. But on the same note, some people still don't understand what they entail. In the subsequent technology in agriculture posts, i will be taking a deeper perspective for all these applications.For a start, i begin with iCow.

 iCow is an sms and web based farmer platform or better still the first of its kind as a mobile phone calender for cows.It was developed by Green Dreams TECH Ltd with the sole purpose of targeting small scale dairy farmers to tackle issues in the cows life cycle and maximize their returns.These issues include among them, milk record keeping,management of a cow's estrus cycle,prevention of milk related diseases,calf diseases and treatment, proper nutrition among others.

In addition,it tracks each farmer's cow on an individual basis and helps keeping records of each cow. This information includes:
  • A comprehensive Gestation Calendar customized to each cow based on the Date of Service (based on the AI ‘straw’ or any other known measure) and/or the Calving Date
  • The Milking Calendar and customizable Milking Schedules
  • The Milking Calculator
  • A customizable Immunization Calendar
  • Health Information Services
  • Diet Information Services
  • Nutrition Information Services
  • Illness and Disease Information Services
  • Costs of production customizable calendar and calculator
  • Calf Records including gender, weight, Date of Birth, etc.
How does it work!
The practically and good thing with iCow is you DO NOT need a smartphone to operate it.Any simply phone that can send and receive texts works wonders.This helps bridge the digital divide among aged farmers as a mobile management tool.

To register for iCow, simply send the word iCow to 5024 using either your Orange,Airtel or Safaricom line.Each SMS costs Kshs 5/-
Other Instructions follow below:
  1. To find a vet: Vet#county#location#
e.g vet#nakuru#njoro#
  1. To find AI: AI#county#location#
e.g AI#nakuru#njoro#
  1. To Register yourself: reg#farmername#county#
e.g reg#kamau#kiambu#
  1. To register a cow: by insemination date: serve#cowname#inseminationdate#
e.g serve#maria#2010-04-23#
or by birth date: Birth#cowname#date of birth#
e.g birth#maria#2007-08-19#

More news on iCow is that it has been a recipient of many awards, among them the winner in apps for africa 2010.Other awards it has won can be found in their BLOG

For more information on the same check their WEBSITE

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