The Cooperative University has taken a major step in transforming Kenya’s agricultural landscape with the acquisition of a state-of-the-art server, which is aimed at enhancing farmers productivity and income.

Donated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), this technological asset is poised to boost the Kenya Rural Transformation Centres Digital Platform (KRTCDP), a pioneering initiative aimed at enhancing farmer connectivity, combating market cartels, and bolstering farmer incomes.

Prof Kamau Ngamau, Vice-Chancellor of the Cooperative University, said the institution is set to leverage this robust infrastructure to facilitate seamless interactions between farmers and various stakeholders across the agricultural value chain.

Through the KRTCDP project, smallholder farmers will gain unprecedented access to vital services, including input suppliers, agro-dealers, and pertinent public resources.

Stressing the potential of the project, Prof Ngamau affirmed ongoing collaborations with numerous cooperatives, poised to support farmers engaged in key value chain targeted by this project, such as maize, Irish potatoes, and dairy.

Harnessing the ubiquity of mobile technology, farmers will utilise their smartphones to access a suite of services, ranging from market information to real-time weather updates, crucial for informed decision-making in agricultural practices.

“This milestone marks the commencement of an ambitious journey towards empowering our farmers and enhancing the efficiency of our agricultural sector,” said Prof Ngamau, highlighting the institution’s readiness to initiate the project’s implementation phase.

Central to the initiative’s objectives is the enhancement of productivity, profitability, and sustainability within agricultural cooperatives, thereby fortifying the broader agricultural and trade value chains.

Notably, beneficiaries comprise a diverse array of stakeholders, including agricultural cooperatives, agro-dealers, and smallholder farmers, alongside private sector entities, financial institutions such as the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, government agencies, development partners, and researchers.

Cooperative University VC Prof Ngamau (left) receive the server manual. Image. BDA
Cooperative University VC Prof Ngamau (left) receive the server manual. Image. BDA

Funded through the African Development Bank’s Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA), the KRTCDP project is poised to undergo a pilot phase across Nakuru, Baringo, and Narok counties.

Speaking on the technical capabilities of the server, Prof Isaac Nyamongo, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, highlighted its cutting-edge specifications, including dual Intel Xeon Platinum processors, ensuring unparalleled computing power and speed.

Prof Nyamongo said the server is equipped with 24 Hard Drives, boasting ample storage capacity to accommodate the evolving needs of the university’s digital ecosystem.