A new app has been developed to help farmers connect to vets closer to them – and agro-dealers and qualified vets.
Known as DaktariPap, Swahili for emergency doctor, the app has been developed by a Nairobi-based startup and is a unique Mobile, Web and SMS technology platform.
It also aims to help local farmers across Kenya to connect to finances and insurance. The app is the work of Samuel Munguti, an MBA graduate in Marketing and management with over 15 years of experience in farming.
“My first agribusiness venture was water melon and tomato farming. It was not easy to do this and make money. I actually made losses. Major limitations to success of this venture were poor access to right inputs, services, and information at local shops and service providers,” he says.
“I imagined same experience facing rural farmers every day. Looking at limitation farmers face accessing credible service providers together with two other colleagues we came up with Daktaripap solutions.”
With Dakkaripap, farmers are connected on demand to nearest credible and vetted service provider-either vet or agronomist or insurance agent depending on problem presented.
“If onsite visit is needed, a visit is immediately scheduled with the nearest service provider to attend to the farmer within a promised turnaround time-less than 1 hr,” he says.
In an economy where there are estimated 3.5 million smallholder farmers, 20,000 qualified agronomists and over 10,000 vet graduates, connecting all these in one platform becomes everyone’s desire. As rural farmers lack access to qualified vet and agronomy services, a lot of graduates do not have contacts of farmers in need.
“Farmers can access certified and more affordable service providers at comfort of their mobile phone without worrying about been conned or engaging non-qualified practitioners who may risk and compromise health of their crop and livestock,” he says.
The app interface has four sections: Daktari wa Mimea (Agrononomist), Daktari wa Mifugo (Vet), Insurance Agent and Daktaripap Finance (Innovative finance product targeting rural farmers).
The farmer choses the appropriate interface depending on their need. The app then launches a map view activity on Google Maps showing the nearest service provider (similar to Uber). The farmer clicks on the nearest service provider. The app will prompt the famer to confirm the service requested and make a call to the service provider. If an onsite visit is needed, the nearest service provider will attend to the farmer within a promised turnaround time of less than 1hr. For financial matters, the famer clicks on the Daktaripap Finance icon which works like other loaning apps but with products designed to meet the needs of rural small scale farmers.
Upon accepting the service, anyone who cancels will be charged an inconvenience fee. The service provider is charged a 15% commission for a successful connection.
Daktaripap Solutions is available throughout the country. The company aims to connect farmers with service providers in their local area anywhere across Kenya. According to Daktaripap, in the next 5 years they target to have 1million farmers and 10,000 service providers in the platform before they begin expansion and replication of the model across other Africa countries.