There’s a tale of two sales men who were sent to Africa to sell shoes. On reaching the East coast, one of the salesmen called the home office instructing them to cancel any shipments since no one wore shoes. The second sales man however instructed the home office to quickly make the shipment since no one on the East coast of Africa wore shoes YET. This we consider our PICK from last Friday’s Agribusiness Lab Meetup at the Innovation Village-not that it’s new, but because it’s a necessary reminder about identifying opportunities.
We are truly pleased to have had members of our team at this meetup which we found resourceful. Focusing on commercial goat farming, we must admit that from the meetup our team now knows more about goats than to simply make the next order of stew or steak at Kembabazi’s.
During this meetup we identified different points of interest which form our TAKE on commercial goat farming in the ICT perspective, and in consistence with our experience in evolving different ICT solutions.
Awareness: Whereas commercial goat farming seems to be a lucrative venture, there is an evident need for more awareness in terms of its benefits and why it should be seen and appreciated as a go-to enterprise.
Also, whereas goat meat products are well known and easy to sell, there is a wanting attitude towards goat milk and its related products like yogurt and cheese hence the need for more awareness in order to have a welcoming and receptive customer base.
Access to knowledge and information:We’ve undoubtedly got a number of enthusiastic goat farmers out there but looking at it commercially, there’s need for ease of access to knowledge and information about commercial goat farming. Farmers need to know that they can do more with goats and most importantly have all the required knowledge and information on how to.
Collaboration and networking:There is need for networking and collaboration among goat farmers. This, for purposes of sharing knowledge and information that can range from how to improve their stock, to new market insights. For example is shouldn’t be hard for a farmer who needs to improve their stock to locate one who already has the required breeds.
Marketing:There is need for aggressive marketing in order to establish a strong customer base locally for goat products most especially dairy products. There is also need for Ugandan goat farmers to reach out to already established markets out of Uganda for example in Kenya.
We find that the above identified needs present perfect opportunities in the Information Technology sector as they all can be addressed through a broad range of basic and advanced IT solutions.
Such solutions can range from approaches as basic as social media groups for example on Facebook and WhatsApp through which goat farmers can always share knowledge and information to comprehensive and advanced database solutions.
To best put this into perspective, two cases in point can be explored here, all based on David Dowdy’s (From Joy Goat Development Program) experiences in both Uganda and Kenya.
A cheese maker in Kampala is looking to add goat milk cheese to his products but he hasn’t found a goat milk supplier yet.
In this case there might be a goat farmer out there who has the required goat milk or with the capacity to produce it but despite struggling to identify market for the goat milk, the farmer doesn’t have any idea that somewhere in Kampala there is a cheese maker ready to buy all their milk. Also, there could be another person out there who has been longing for the perfect opportunity to join commercial goat farming and all they need is a timely entry point. Whereas this could be it, they have no clue that there is one waiting to be exploited. In this case, the cheese maker, the goat farmer and the potential entrant shouldn’t have any hardships getting to know about each other. This presents a broad range of opportunities in IT.
There are goat farmers whose output let’s say of goat milk is in small quantities. Also, there is a goat milk processing plant which despite their large goat milk output from an established farm still requires more goat milk to reach their required production capacity. In Meru Kenya, a model is already in place; goat farmers however small their output have all their milk collected on daily basis by agents at community level. All this milk is delivered to a central collection point after which it is all picked in tankers for delivery to a goat milk dairy/processing plant. In essence, goat farmers have the opportunity to generate revenue from their stock despite their numbers. Such a process can be made better with different IT tools and solutions as hinted on above. For example all goat farmers can be mapped out while also reflecting their registered output and overtime, before even collection agents pick the milk, the dairy already knows the amount of milk to expect from a given village hence giving them desired business insight.
In a nutshell, wherever there is a need there is an opportunity and what can be achieved though IT is limitless. So as we talk goats, any IT mind should think of how best IT can facilitate the venture and make it better-therein lies perfect opportunities.
Such opportunities are in;
- Website Development (There is no reason a goat farmer shouldn’t have a website),
- Social media marketing and advertising,
- Content Marketing,
- Database technologies,
- Mapping technologies,
- E-learning tools,
- Digital learning materials etc.
Willapps Limited offers such solutions in Website Development, Mobile Application Development, Software Development and Digital Marketing.
If you have anything to add to this post, please feel free to share your views in the comments section below.