The fourth Wireless Wednesday meet up on mobile innovations in agriculture sawmobile apps developers, entrepreneurs, farmers, NGOs, financial advisors,media, government representatives, and other stakeholders review apps that target post-harvest challenges.
The August 29th event, sponsored by USAID through DAI and organized by m:lab East Africa, had farmers representatives from Western, Central, Eastern, Coast and Rift Valley Provinces and other attendees give developers feedback on their applications. The event started with developers giving the attendees brief demos of the apps to familiarize them with the applications before the reviews.
The applications reviewed were:
- Soko Huru:An app that offers farmers a platform and businessmen to market and buy farm products respectively.
- Packhouse Manager:An innovative Desktop software program that makes it easy for exporters of fresh produce to easily manage their Farms, packhouses and Farmers that supply them with produce.
- Soko Shambani:An SMS platform that allows farmers of Potatoes to connect with buyers.
- Ukulima:Farmers mobile social network product
A summary of the feedback given by farmers and other agricultural stakeholders present is as follows :-
- Work with the end users:When developing and implementing an application, work with people who will eventually use your product. This allows you to give them a finished product they can relate with, since they had input during development.
- Join bodies that work with your end users:Developers were advised to join organizations that work with farmers and farmer groups. This gives their applications credibility as well as an edge because of the affiliation of these organizations the constantly work with.
- Research:Before you develop an application, research. Researching helps a developer examine specific questions, issues or problems in a given field before developing an application in that field. They were encouraged to keep searching even after the application has been developed to keep improving their product for the users sake.
- Engagement:After developing the application, devs were encouraged to, keep contact with your users. Having a feedback mechanisms on your platform is a good way to do this so as to keep constant engagement with the end users.
- Rapport: Understand the end users to be able to establish your commonality and create a relationship with them. Understand that they have preference, feelings and deserve to be treated with respect. Don’t exploit your end users emotionally or economically. Creating a rapport with the end users makes them your product’s ambassadors.