Infonet for farmers: Far better than Google

Modern technology supports farmers in Kenya

Rose Munde is a “Plant Doctor” from Machakos in Kenya and knows a great deal about plant cultivation, pests and diseases. However, sometimes her knowledge is not enough for a rapid diagnosis and so she always has a comprehensive encyclopaedia in her pocket so that she can find out what she needs to know within seconds.

Peter Lüthi and Martin Grossenbacher, Biovision

Modern communication tools are a part of everyday life in Africa as well and so Rose Munde always has her tablet computer with her when she goes out to advise farmers locally. The small device weighs only 300 grams but contains detailed information, photos, information charts and maps that would previously have required several heavy tomes. It was Raphael Okoth, a smallholder from Western Kenya and Monique Hunziker, a project manager at Biovision who in 2004 laid the foundations for the “Infonet Biovision”, an Internet platform for agriculture in East Africa. Today, the website is even accessible from your smartphone and the information is also available as an offline application, making it available at any time even without an Internet connection. The Infonet Biovision contains background information on all aspects of ecological plant cultivation, animal husbandry, human health and a considerate use of natural resources.

First choice: Infonet Biovision

Members of The Project Team draft the content; this is revised by scientists and then adapted by experienced practitioners. Rose Munde is one of many who are convinced by the reliability of the information. “Infonet-Biovision is my first port of call because it concentrates on data that is really relevant to Kenya,” says the government agricultural adviser. The information is very reliable and is written in simple language that farmers can easily understand. I also think it very important that the Infonet Biovision is free to everyone,” she stresses.

  • All guests gathered in front of the main entrance of the International Institute of Insect Research icipe for the group photo.
  • To celebrate the 6th generation of Infonet-Biovision, BvAT handed the guests a cake in the form of an Infonet notebook. (From left to right) Mr. Geoffrey Kituyi (representative of the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture "Kilimo House"), MaryLucy Oronje (CABI International), Andreas Schriber Head of Board BvAT, Dr. David Amudavi CEO BvAT, Zachary Makanya (PELUM Kenya)
  • At a side event, BvAT presented all areas of the FCP and its involvement in the EOP.
  • Board member Paula Daeppen informs herself about products made of medicinal plants at the stand.
  • Andreas Sicks, Head of Development Programs at Biovision in exchange with Yosam Mugarura, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
  • (From left to right) Venter Mwongera (Manager TOF and MkM Projects BvAT), Barbara Frei-Haller (Biovision board member), Regina Muthama (Field-Trainer BvAT), Dr. David Amudavi (Executive Director BvAT), Nevada Shiramba, smallholder and user of Infonet-Biovision.

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