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When Ruth Kaivilu ventured into maize farming three years ago, purchasing a tractor to till her land was one of her greatest challenges but she has managed to overcome it thanks to an innovative technology called Tinga App.

The App, which was pioneered by Quipbank Trust Ltd, has helped farmers like Kaivilu to hire farm machinery in a cheaper and convenient manner.

It has also helped edge out exploitative brokers who take advantage of ignorance among farmers to dictate price of commodities.

“Getting machinery is a nightmare to the majority of small scale farmers since brokers are always on the prowl waiting to pounce and when they do, our pocket suffer,” Kaivilu said.

She told Xinhua the mobile App enables farmers access agricultural mechanization services like ploughing, harvesting, harrowing, chiseling, spraying, planting, baling conveniently through their smart phones.

Using the latest software, the app allows farmers to create an account directly, indicate their preferred service, choose their location, and size of the land to be ploughed and later sends the request.

Once the request is received and processed, the tractor is dispatched from the nearest Tinga hub to the farmer’s farm within a week.

“Initially before I discovered the app, I wasted a lot of time looking for a tractor since sometimes middlemen intentionally delay the process to create a crisis so that a farmer can pay more. Nowadays it takes me only a week to get a tractor,” she explains.

According to the farmer, it costs 30 U.S. dollars to plough an acre in Narok, which is significantly higher compared to using the App.

“My farm is 25 acres, tilling before I discovered the app cost me close to 800 dollars. With the app, I now spend 500 dollars as tractors available on the platform charge 20 dollars for areas around Narok. This saves me 300 dollars,” she adds.

Since September last year, the application has registered more than 900 downloads from farmers across the region.

Majority of the farmers downloading the application are in Narok, Mau, Eldoret, Kitale, Nakuru, Bomet, Naivasha, Nanyuki, Tana River, Molo, Meru and Embu.

Tinga App has introduced a community ownership model for expansion plan which will enable Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), churches and savings and credit co-operatives to own tractors and allow their members to earn discounted services whenever their tractors are engaged.

Kaivilu says farmers who use the app also frequently receive free training on smart farming. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/