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Ugandan farmers use mobile apps to sell and buy produce


<p><strong>Makerere University students in Uganda have created a mobile application that provides smallholder farmers with real-time information on markets, the latest news on farming inputs and eliminates profit-sapping middlemen.</strong></p> <p>Ismail Katende took up farming two years ago. It wasn’t his dream job but it was a way to make a living when he couldn’t find employment. </p> <p>Today, he is harvesting his latest crop of eggplants. He will market and sell them, right here, in the middle of his one-acre farm, thanks to a mobile application called AgroMarket Day.</p> <p>He takes pictures of the produce on his phone and uploads them with details, price and a contact number then waits for a hit on the application, which is also available to buyers. He also regularly receives information on best farming practices and cheap inputs.</p> <p>Katende says farming has been easier than he imagined. He makes about 200 U.S. dollars a month and is planning on expansion.</p> <p>“This application gives me information on where to buy the right tools to use in the farm. It also directs me to the right products; the fertilizers, the herbicides and the pesticides to use in the garden. It even gives me the market for my products when they have ripened. So I use the application, I upload my products and I can sell them now using AgroMarket Day right from the farm or even I can take them to town but normally these days I sell right from the app, and then they come and get the produce from my farm,” he said.</p> <p>AgroMarket Day is available on Android operated systems and can be downloaded from the Google Play store.</p> <p>It was created by two students from Uganda’s Makerere University – Isaac Omiat, 25, and Lisa Katusiime, 24.</p> <p>The race to develop mobile apps in Africa is spawning a new generation of techpreneurs, searching for innovative ways to connect various sectors with their respective clientele. </p> <p>Dozens of apps are being created across the continent, to help bridge the infrastructure deficits, while helping to meet the aspirations of an increasingly tech-savvy African population.</p>
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