Technology has come a long way in helping to eradicate hunger. As the world strives to have a planet that feeds its self, we look at how the internet and smartphones are coming in handy. There was a time when phones where affordable to the chosen few and used for catching up with people but now? Things have changed. Phones are now accessible to a larger number and the uses have also increased due to the advancement in technology

People have today shifted from the mentality that farming is not a promising field and have ventured in it. In the next few years we will have more people going towards the agribusiness sector. One of the challenges that farmers have been facing is the existence of middle men commonly known as the most cases they work to benefit themselves and in so doing the ordinary farmer ends up at a loss or gaining less than what they ought to. The use of smart phones today has helped in creating a direct link between the farmers and clients. With proper knowledge on how to use the phones, farmers have created Facebook groups and WhatsApp groups where they engage with clients and able to negotiate on prices no matter the distance. This is achieved through taking photos and creation of videos that are sent in the groups and interested clients can contact the farmer directly

Figure 1:A photo of an ailing chicken

What would you do if you ever found yourself stranded with your produce due to lack of clients? The worry of most farmers is whether they will get clients to buy their produce. It can be disappointing to be stranded with goods and not knowing what to do next. In most cases when this happens they end up selling at a throw away price just to have the goods sold. Once again, the smart phones have come to the rescue. Farmers today have clients already on stand by waiting for the harvest season. Advertising your goods through photos and the progress as they grow and mature can attract investors who will want to do business once the season comes. This motivates the farmers to even work harder as they will work diligently to produce more.

Other than the smart phones being used to get markets, they are also used to connect experts with the farmers. The secret to be a successful farmer is simple. Seek advice from experts. People do complain of lack of information and agronomists but to what extent do they take the initiative to seek? Seeking answers from experts and those experienced is key to successful farming and yes at times distance can be a barrier but with existing social media groups, this has been made achievable. One can simply take a picture of a crop that has been affected by a disease and post in the groups. Within no time the post will be doing rounds and comments streaming in. Farmers do not have to go through challenges alone anymore.

Figure 2:An expert using a smartphone

Apps have been developed too that can help farmers solve problems they encounter. An example is the Yara ImageIT an app used to measure nitrogen uptake in a crop and to generate a nitrogen recommendation based on photographs of the crop. All a farmer must do is to take a picture of the leaf and with that the app will the nitrogen uptake. The smartphone is a powerful gadget that many people have not explored its advantages to the fullest. MbeguChoice app helps farmers to identify which crops can be planted in their farms depending on the climate of that region. Crops thrive in specific climates and farmers should be keen if they want to get good yields. With the app they can get the information required to start a successful farming adventure

Figure 3:Checking the nitrogen uptake in spinach

Using a smartphone is not as easy as it sounds. Creating videos and taking photos to be uploaded however requires skills. You need quality photos for effective communication therefore farmers should be trained on mobile journalism. Farmers ought to stay updated in the technological world and make their smartphones a partner in farming. Let us stay advanced as we aim to eradicate hunger #ZEROHUNGER.

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