Agriculture is one of the highly valued and high-revenue generating sectors in Kenya, but modernisation has been wanting. There has been slow development of modernising the sector for optimal output. With rapid population growth, Africa is facing shrinkage in arable land and essential measures are required to achieve high food production on limited natural resources. This will require elevated technology and injection of resources to the farming system.
With good and practical training, even small-scale farmers can adopt best practices that will guarantee good returns on investment. Saving time, increasing efficiency and reducing running costs are some of the benefits that can be realised through innovative technology.
Superior Farming Solutions (SFS Limited) has brought to the market new innovations and is still working on other practical agri-based ideas that are built to suit farmers’ needs.
SFS was unveiled in 2011 by Stanley Karanja and Peter Muthee. Muthee has 15 years experience in high-tech farming and agribusiness, and Karanja has a passion to incorporate technology into agriculture. Their aim is to facilitate entrepreneurial farmers with relevant skills, techniques and tools for growing market share and profitability, besides demystifying management of their businesses. It is from that intention that the organisation found it necessary to incorporate technology. These two visionary agri-entrepreneurs are enthusiastic and passionate, and have a strong desire to promote agri-business in Kenya and beyond in a high-tech and commercial way.
E-Pig is management software designed for pig farmers in Kenya and Africa. The application is designed to optimise management of commercial pig farms. The software briefly guides processes in a farm like breeding, feeding and maintenance of good health. A new feature on feed formulation, for example, includes sales forecast, procurement practice and herd composition.
E-Pig comes in three versions that target the whole market – a mobile version (for farmers with less than 10 sows), a desktop version (for farmers with between 10 to 30 sows), an enterprise version (for those with over 30 sows) and one that will be online. The system gives detailed reports that aid in the management of the farm by ensuring the decision making process is easier and informed.
The software’s additional features include data analysis, monthly profit and loss accounts, income statements, budgets and forecasts, feeding and breeding plans, project sales, cash flow estimates and other important financial statements. It has the capacity to detect anomalies and deviations from the standard recommended practices, allowing the farmer to take quick remedial measures.
During the 2013 ASK show in Nairobi, more than 300 farmers expressed interest in acquiring the software. It is currently in operation in Isinya, Kajiado County.
E-Pig is exceptional in data analysis, budgeting, monitoring and control and in generating management reports that are essential in the running of a commercial pig farm. The idea behind this innovation is to motivate the youth to venture into farming, besides creating jobs and moving the country to the food security level.
New users have to key in a significant amount of data, which is challenging at the initial stages. On the other hand, pigs need to be weighed weekly so that the system can check if they are growing and fattening at the desired rate.
Besides providing e-pig, SFS also helps agri-investors select enterprises in farming, carries out feasibility tests, commences the project and supports the implementation and management of projects. Using modern ICT based solutions, the firm also helps investors to design and implement operating systems, which optimise operations and ensure profitability.