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M-Calc among Apps4Africa winners


A Kenyan application – Mkulima Calculator – that will help farmers decide when to plant crops and how to select the best crops for a given location has emerged second in a regional app competition.

M-Calc, developed by four Strathmore Students, is designed to enhance farmers’ productivity by locating the nearest and best priced farm equipment shops with the help of automatic location detection.

The Apps4Africa East Africa challenge 2011 focused on apps that address climate change and attracted apps from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. All three East Africa winners support “climate-smart” agriculture in the region.

First place went to The Grainy Bunch, an application developed in Tanzania. The Grainy Bunch features a national grain supply chain management system that monitors the purchase, storage, distribution and consumption of grain across the entire nation.

Agro Universe, a mobile and web-based app from Uganda took the third place. The app creates a regional marketplace, helping communities prepare for pest- and drought-induced food shortages by linking communities to farmers with available produce.

The winner will receive $15,000 in cash prize, runners-up $7,000 and the third position will get $3,000.

In addition, the winners will also have access to additional follow-on opportunities provided by some of the competition partners who include the U.S Department of State, TED, Appfrica International, Hive Colab and the William James Foundation.

By KEN MACHARIA

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