Technology giant Huawei and Kenya’s largest telco Safaricom have partnered to launch a new programme that will enable dairy farmers to identify the most ideal time to inseminate their cows in a bid to increase the yield of dairy livestock in the country.
The partnership will see Huawei manufacture the devices which will be placed in the bodies of cows, while Safaricom will be tasked with setting up a working business model for their dissemination into the Kenyan market. Safaricom will also provide the network through which the devices will send data to the dairy farmers.
According to a news report by the Business Daily, once the sensor is lodged inside the cows, farmers will be able to keep tabs on the animals’ menstrual cycle through an arithmetical catalogue which will allow farmers to plan for proper insemination.
Proper timing for insemination is vital for any dairy farmer since they have to wait for three weeks to lapse before a cow can regain its fertility after giving birth and this interferes with the animal’s milk production output.
“We are also working with the Agriculture ministry. We have done a lot of trials in Nakuru and Eldoret for the dairy cows,” Huawei Kenya’s Chief Executive Stone He is quoted as saying by the Business Daily during the Huawei-Reddington ICT Summit held at Movenpick Hotel on Wednesday.
“Kenya has more than four million dairy cows but the milk production is not so high,” Mr. He added.
The Business Daily similarly reported that the device will be especially useful to dairy farmers with large herds of dairy cattle.
“That (device) will help the farmer because if you have 100 cows, it is very challenging to know which cow should be inseminated,” Mr He said in the Business Daily report.
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.