Kenya’s Safaricom and Huawei, a Chinese technology giant, are set to develop sensors that will notify dairy farmers when it is ideal to inseminate their cows in a bid to increase milk production.
The device which will be lodged in the body of the cows, will enable farmers track their animals’ menstrual cycles through a digital database and schedule targeted insemination. Huawei has developed the devices while Safaricom will set up the business model for their delivery to Kenyan farmers and provide the network through which the devices will send data to them.
During the Huawei-Reddington ICT Summit at Movenpick Hotel, the Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Kenya, Stone He, said “we are also working with the Agriculture ministry. We have done a lot of trials in Nakuru and Eldoret for the dairy cows. Kenya has more than four million dairy cows but the milk production is not so high”.
Stone revealed that the device is instrumental in monitoring dairy cows, especially when their number is high. He said “that (device) will help the farmer because if you have 100 cows, it is very challenging to know which cow should be inseminated”.
According to data from the Livestock Research for Rural Development journal, Kenya’s dairy sector contributes about 8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with an annual milk production of 3.43 billion litres. Kenyan milk production is 3 percent of the 18 percent global production stemming from sub-Saharan Africa. Dairy cattle population is estimated at 4.3 million.