Student developers feted for efforts in aid of farmers

Monday February 1 2016

Norman Muga (left) of Strathmore University and

Norman Muga (left) of Strathmore University and Mburu Njunge (right) of Kenyatta University, the winners of the 2015 Strathmore- Waterloo Universities Agribusiness Mobile App challenge pose for a photo with Principal Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication Dr Victor Kyalo at Strathmore during the award ceremony. PHOTO | LILIAN OCHIENG 

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Two Kenyan students have won a fully paid trip to Canada, for developing the best Agribusiness App for iLabAfrica- Waterloo University Agribusiness mobile tech challenge.

Mr Norman Muga, Strathmore University and Mburu Njunge, Kenyatta University will stay at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada for one week.

At an event graced by the Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication Principal Secretary Dr Victor Kyalo, they were honoured for creating the mobile application ConviFarm.

ConviFarm seeks to provide sustainable solutions for increasing food security and providing better methods of agriculture through the mobile phone. Farmers in remote areas get information on crop protection and veterinary services via the application.

Bottom of the pyramid masses

"Agriculture is the mainstay of at least 80 per cent of the Kenyan population. We chose this sector because it has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses," said iLabAfrica Director- Dr Joseph Sevilla.

The mobile tech challenge is open to members of the public, students of Strathmore and other universities as well as private applications developers.

Its top prize is a one week trip to Ontario Canada, where winners join other developers around the world in training and incubation. The second prize is a full scholarship for a 6 months Strathmore Entrepreneurship Development Program.

The challenge is employing a virtual incubation technology developed by University of Waterloo's Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, to reach and incubate agribusiness mobile app ideas across Kenya. iLabAfrica has been running the system on pilot at its iBizAfrica incubation centre.

Speaking during the award ceremony, Dr Victor Kyalo commended iLabAfrica for delivering global partnerships that deepen technology innovations.

"This centre continues to interest developers to come up with world class innovations and solutions that can impact the bottom of the pyramid in Africa.”