Tanzania: Cellphone Apps for Soil Testing Expected in Dar

Dar es Salaam - Mobile phones will soon be used in testing the fertility of soil at any given location, researchers say.

Kenya-based, Capture Solutions, said last week that it will extend its business to Tanzania by introducing various mobile phone applications, including the use of mobile phone applications that help farmers in improving their productivity levels.

The firm's managing director, Mr Lawrenzo Boncompagni told The Citizen last week that some of its products to be deployed include kits for testing soil fertility and providing data on weights and measurements of farm products.

"Wherever a farmer is located, he/she can get information on soil fertility using mobile phone applications. The technology is already practised in Kenya and we hope to bring it to Dar es Salaam in September this year," he said.

Explaining on how soil is tested, Boncopagni said there is a soil testing kit which is connected to the mobile phones and there is a card for storage, receiving and sending information.

The company has already established a branch in Tanzania.

In Kenya, he said, Capture Solutions has about 200,000 subscribers who use their smartphones to get access to the applications.

According to the Capture Solutions Tanzania Ltd chief executive officer, Mr Emmanuel Ngalla, preparations for introducing the mobile phone applications were well on track.

"We are through with the market survey and we know what to expect when September comes," he said.

He said there is still huge market for mobile phone applications that could provide various solutions to farming practices such as marketing of agricultural products, grading of farm products, branding and agribusiness promotions.

According to Mr Martin Mgallah of the Agricultural Markets Development Trust (AMDT), adoption of such mobile phone applications would boost agricultural productivity in Tanzania given the rapid increase in the number of mobile phone users.

Already Vodacom Tanzania is running a farm product known as Kilimo club for farmers to communicate with each other and accessing small credit facility.

Established in November 2014, Kiliomo club enables smallholder farmers to send and receive money by M-pesa as well as depositing cash in M-power to simplify agri-business transactions.

Source: The Citizen