In the recent past, I posted a piece on my views on why ICT apps should take the lead of Rwanda’s agricultural transformation. And as time goes on, I become extremely happy to see that happening, thanks to great job being done by determined young Rwandans.
Now the latest good news in Rwanda on ICT for agric is a new mobile app that will help in detecting soil fertility. The project has been developed by Agristars, a group of four young Rwandans from the University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology.
“After analysing, one is able to tell what nutrients are in the soil and what crops are suitable to be grown on that particular piece of land,” explains Dieudonne Ukurikiyeyesu, a member of the team. “We are not going to sleep, we need to improve our project and work hard.”
These are really very promising statements for Rwanda’s agriculture sector in their near future. The AgriStars’ app emerged the excellent one among others yesterday on Saturday during the national Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.
The software application they developed analyses the fertility of the soil by simply taking a picture of the soil and then subjecting the sample to laboratory analysis.
In my views, such innovative ideas are very important for us Rwandans for several reasons: first of all, once the app gets operational, for sure there will be significant increase of productivity; given that farmers will be planting suitable crops to a particular area.
Since Rwandans face shortage of farmlands (with an average of 0.59ha per household), the mobile app will really help many Rwandan farmers to maximize profit out of their tiny farmlands. Because we are a small country, so each inch counts.
Last, but not least, it’s obvious that once the business plan of the project gets finalized and operational, for sure we expect creation of jobs for many young Rwandans who will be working with the project.
The AgriStars emerged as one of young Rwandans who are able to create ICT-enabled solutions for agriculture after that many more young Rwandan developers have shown their keenness to embrace agriculture with new ICT solutions. A recent example has been a University student girl, Nancy Sibo, who has last month unveiled a Mobile Application that detects estrus cycle of cows. Even though the ICT4ag is still in its embryonic stage here, but I know a few more young Rwandans who are busy working on their agriculture-related ICT projects — which is a good trend. I will keep you informed on these innovative ideas being developed by youth here in Rwanda.