A new digital extension service platform has launched in Kenya to help farmers address barriers in animal healthcare over mobile phones in battle against adverse effects of corona virus.
The ‘Last Mile’ app, developed by giant pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim makes it easier for farmers in hard-to-reach areas access animal medical resources and plays a big role in awareness creation of animal healthcare solutions available for smallholder farmers in Africa.
The initiative backed by the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) and funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation targets farmers rearing ruminants, such as sheep, goats along with cattle, and poultry.
“The program’s mission is to create long-lasting partnerships with the local farming community in an effort to establish and drive sustainable businesses that are integrated into the wider national economy,” said the company in a statement.
The App allows field officers to manage their day-to-day activities and work more effectively with farmers, retailers and veterinarians. Farmers will now be able to liaise with field officers remotely and get the necessary assistance via the last mile app.
The objective for rolling out the use of the app, the company said is to monitor the activities accurately, collect data, measure the impact and reach of the initiative, as well as to improve the understanding and knowledge about the smallholder farmer sector for better-informed decision-making in the future.
“The app has proven critical in the current times of social distancing and heightened safety measures for regular and easy interactions with all our stakeholders,” said
The app was initially launched in Kenya, and other key markets throughout Africa including Cameroon, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, with a plan to expand in Tanzania.
In 2019, Boehringer Ingelheim made net sales of Sh 2.3 trillion (19 billion euros) largely attributed to investment of almost Sh 416 billion (3.5 billion euros) in research and development.