Friday, 13 February 2009

Nokia launches information service for farmers in Kenya

Nokia is launching in Kenya a new service to offer prompt weather and agriculture related information to farmers to enhance their preparedness in ensuring optimal food production. The pilot service was innitially launched in India in the Maharashtra region in December 2008. Nokia plans to roll-out the commercial service across the rest of India in the first half of 2009, and will be extended to select countries in Africa and Asia later. Nokia Life Tools service will be available in the first half of 2009. In India Nokia Life Tools will support a wide range of languages, including Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, and English.

Through the Nokia Life Tools, rural based communities and persons living in small towns will now be able to receive regular updates on climatic changes; farm input and farm produce prices on their mobile phones, empowering them to make quick and informed decisions that will enhance their productivity.
Through partnerships with organizations like the Kenya Meterological Department regular tips can be sent to farmers, through Nokia Life Tools, on changing weather patterns, while agro-based organizations could provide information to help farmers update farming techniques or indicate prevailing market conditions that could help prevent future food shortages. Nokia will work with local and regional organizations to provide the local content required that will be sent through the Nokia devices.

Information on weather, prices of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and prevailing market prices can be sent directly to the farmers’ mobile device. The information for the produce is customized to the farmer’s location and his/her choice of crop.