uMERU UNIVERSITY OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

                         

SCHOOL OF COMPUTING AND
INFORMATICS

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DEPARTMENT OF IT AND
COMPUTER SCIENCE

PROPOSAL TITLE:

THE USE OF INFORMATION COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY IN ENHANCING MAIZE FARMING IN TRAN-NZOIA COUNTY.

GLORY NKATHA

REG NO: BS205/4005/14

 

 

 

 

This project is submitted in
partial fulfilment of the requirement for
the Meru University of Science and Technology award of BACHELOR OF BUSINESS
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 

                                                            

                                                            

DECLARATION

I  Glory Nkatha declare that
this proposal is based on my original
work except for citations and work has not been submitted for the award of any
academic certificate at Meru University of Science and Technology or any other
institution whatsoever.

 

Signature: _________________________

Name: _________________________

 

                                                Supervisor

This proposal has been submitted for examination in Meru University of
science and technology with my approval as University Supervisor.

Supervisor Name: Mr. Eli Kangaru.

Signature…………………………………………………….Date…………………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEDICATION

I uniquely
dedicated this proposal to my family members for their continued support and my
friend who have assisted me in the development of the idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       ABSTRACT

Maize
production in very essential activity in the agricultural sector being the
staple food for most of the households in the Kenyan community. There has been
several websites developed in the aid of the farmers to obtain relevant and
adequate information on the best farming practices. Farmers are teaming up to
look for better services and to find the most appropriate way to carry out
their farming activities according to change in technology. E.g. Ag hub modular
farming based system in new Zealand is a farm management system collecting and
displaying automated data, so that you have just one place to go for
information and insight about your farm. It lets you do the managing and
monitoring you’re doing now, plus a lot more, without the clutter of notebooks
and paperwork.

By
development of maize farmer’s management system it will enable the maize
farmers in to improve on their activities by having them manage orders, farm
leases and secure storage of the information by the system online from a
central point of view. For the research purposes and data collection I will use
questioners which will be given to the farmers concerning the challenge they
are facing facilitating high yield in maize production also observation of the
activities carried by farmers and their way of doing things.

 

 

Table of
Contents                                                                                                          
Pages
DECLARATION.. 2
DEDICATION.. 3
ABSTRACT. 4
CHAPTER ONE. 7
INTRODUCTION.. 7
1.1: Background. 7
1.1.1: Historical 7
1.1.1.1: implementation. 7
1.1.1.2: Information Technology solution. 8
1.1.2: Theoretical 8
1.1.3: conceptual 9
1.1.4: contextual 9
1.2: PROBLEM STATEMENT. 10
1.3: OBJECTIVES. 11
1.4: HYPOTHESIS. 11
1.5: PROJECT JUSTIFICATON.. 11
1.4 : SCOPE. 12
1.5: PROJECT JUSTIFICATON.. 12
CHAPTER TWO.. 13
LITERATURE RIVIEW… 13
2.1: introduction. 13
2 .1.1: Ag Hub farming system.. 13
2.1.2: Agrivi farm management system.. 15
2.1.3: BigHaat.com.. 16
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1: Background

1.1.1: Historical

1.1.1.1:
implementation

 Maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan valley
of Mexico in the early 21st centuary.it is believe that about 2500
BC the crop spread to other parts of America. Acording to astudy by  (Ranum
et al, 2014), domestication of maize was done through a single
domestication southern mexico about 9000 years down the line. The study also
demonstrated that the oldest surviving maize types are those of Mexican
highlands that later spread to other parts of the world (Qiu et al, 2010).

Kenya’s
economy majorly depends on agriculture maize being the staple food. Maize
accounts for over 40% of calorie intake by the Kenyan population. Evidence
shows that two out of every three farmers in Kenya grow maize and it accounts
to 20% of the gross farm output in the smallholder sector (Ranum et al, 2014).Government
policies aimed at modernizing agriculture need to be designed in a way that it
distributes the risk and challenges faced by the farmers (Dalton et al,
2014).the grain market in the country has been concentrated in maize owing to
the fact that it is a staple food and a source of income to the majority of the
population.

Trans-Nzoia County is one
of the country major leading producers of maize in Kenya and are not in
exception to the various risks (korir et al 2011)from natural, economic and
political environment

1.1.1.2:
Information Technology solution

Population growth and changing
diets are contributing to a sharp increase in maize demand, hence production
has to be increased. This brings rise to a need of an effective system that
will be able to manage the maize production activities online. This will
minimize the manual ordering of materials and digitally acquiring the relevant
information regarding farm leases. The system will be able to keep the farmers
data safely and enhance safe modes of payments. Due to the high digital
penetration in the country and high levels of literacy the farmers will be able
to carry on their activities with ease on the click of a button. The manager on
the other end will be able to monitor the orders and payments made.

 

The world today is ideally becoming
digital in each and every second in life. Everything is radically changing the
digital direction and hence in the future anything far from digital would be
considered obsolete. This is due to high technology penetration globally. A
greater population can now be able to obtain information, place orders and many
more from a button click. Technology revolution in computers and internet
development has greatly propelled the digital migration where access to
internet on mobile devices is widely increasing.           

1.1.2:
Theoretical

There
are theories that have been developed in line with agricultural production and
its improvements. Domestication theory by Danniel Quin and other scholars
states that humans first settled in particular areas where they abandoned their
nomadic ways of finding food and practiced animal domestication and
agriculture. Demographic theory proposed by Carl saurer (1887-1975) argues that
the increase in human population is hindered by the capacity of the natural
environment in supplying food. Further increase in population facilitate
naturally wild produce food more insignificant.

Care
pathways theory of change was developed through a broad view of care and in
deep analysis in each country and its implementation. Pathways theory change
tries to define what needs to happen to achieve our goals. Cares pathway
strategy outlines how these changes will be promoted .A theory of change is an
articulation of the beliefs and assumptions that guide service delivery
strategy and are believed critical for producing change and improvement (Peña?Rosas et al, 2014).
They represent what is needed by a target population and what will enable them
meet their needs.They establish a context for considering the connection
between a system’s mission, strategies and actual outcomes (Bänziger et al, 2000) ,
while creating links between who is being served, the strategies or activities
that are being implemented, and the desired outcomes.

 

1.1.3:
conceptual

Farmer is a person who owns or manages a
farm. The term usually applies to people who do
some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock.

Maize (called corn in some countries)
is zea mays, a member of the grass family poaceae. It
is a cereal grain which was first grown by people in ancient Central America. It is now the third most important cereal crop in the world.

Management is the
organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to
achieve defined objectives.it is included as a factor of production along with
machines, materials and money. According to Guru Peter Drucker (1909-2005) the
basic task of management include marketing and innovation.

A System is a set of
connected things or parts forming a complex whole in particular. This enables
them to work together.

1.1.4:
contextual

Maize
farming has been in practice for many years and people used traditional means
to manage their activities. Due to the increase in demand of maize and the
development of new technology a need to use online system in managing the maize
production in Tran-Nzoia is important. Management being an important tool in
every business it has to be properly enhanced to provide better yields.

There is a challenge for
the farmers to obtain the right materials and make the right orders. They may
not obtain the best suppliers in time hence the system will guarantee timely
orders and delivery.

 

 

1.2: PROBLEM STATEMENT

Considering
maize to be the staple food of the country its availability and accessibility
is a useful indicator of food security in the country (GoK 2011) however its production
is faced with greater challenges. Manual practices of the most farming
activities is widely practiced. This has posed great challenges in obtaining
quality materials, timely delivery and right training on the farming activities.
Interested farmers also lack concrete information on the available land on
lease by the dealers its location and charges. This mainly aims at reclaiming
idle land and putting it into cultivation. This has brought a greater need for
a system to aid the maize farmers obtain quality input resources on time hence
cutting on the cost of travelling in search. It provide farmers central access
of all materials required and safe modes of payments. Farmers also will have
guaranteed security on information provided and can be used for future
reference.

The
system is also able to connect the interested farmers with up to date
information on land leases, cost and location. This will greatly enhance growth
in the agricultural sector and increase food security in the country since
maize is the staple food of all Kenyans.    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                

1.3: OBJECTIVES

Main objective

·        
To develop a system that will enable maize
farmers get quick access to various farming inputs.

             Specific objectives

                                                       
I.           
To keep farmers records effectively and
secure through the use of passwords.

                                                    
II.           
To enable farmers obtain detailed
information on land lease and its appropriate details, quality hybrid seeds,
and other materials on offer.

                                                 
III.           
To enable farmers make required orders and
their payments online.

                                                 
IV.           
To help managers in monitoring orders and
payments.

1.4: HYPOTHESIS

There
is a direct relationship in enhancing farmer’s data security through the system
by ensuring there is use of passwords to reduce unauthorized access. There is
ease of obtaining the farm inputs by the farmers from one central point reducing
the cost and time spent during the search. This is main contributing factor to
increasing maize production. Managers have a direct relation into monitoring of
the orders and payments who for increased revenue generation through the
system.

1.5: PROJECT JUSTIFICATON

Online
maize farmers Management System boosts farming in terms of speed, efficiency,
accuracy and security. In the past, various activities such as buying seed,
fertilizers and enquiries about trainings was done manually hence tiresome and
time consuming. From the comfort of the farmer’s home, the farmer is able to
use this system to order for seeds, apply for seeds, identify available land on
lease and get updates on the recent technological farming methods and even
request for delivery services at the comfort of his/her home. This system is
efficient in terms of keeping famers records hence provide a way for future reference.
This system is also secure in terms of the use of proper authentication
mechanisms. The security helps to keep farmers information safe and prevent
illegal access by unauthorized users. This system also provides a forum for
better service delivery adequate information on maize production materials that
are aimed to improve the production.

1.4: SCOPE

Farmers
being the main participant of the system they will be enabled to view seeds,
fertilizers and agro chemicals at the comfort of their home.

The
system will also cover Trans-Nzoia County as the main target to the maize farmers.
Farmers will also be at a privilege to place orders and make payments at home.

To
make payments farmers must have created an account or log in to the previous
account in the event they have already existing account.

The
system manager will be able to upload photos of different seeds and their
package, pesticides and other chemicals, available land on lease, monitor
payments and keep track of the farmers.

1.5: PROJECT JUSTIFICATON

Online
maize farmers Management System boosts farming in terms of speed, efficiency,
accuracy and security. In the past, various activities such as buying seed,
fertilizers and enquiries about trainings was done manually hence tiresome and
time consuming. From the comfort of the farmer’s home, the farmer is able to
use this system to order for seeds, apply for seeds, identify available land on
lease and get updates on the recent technological farming methods and even
request for delivery services at the comfort of his/her home.

This
system is efficient in terms of keeping famers records hence provide a way for
future reference. This system is also secure in terms of the use of proper
authentication mechanisms. The security helps to keep farmers information safe
and prevent illegal access by unauthorized users. This system also provides a
forum for better service delivery adequate information on maize production
materials that are aimed to improve the production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

       CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE
RIVIEW

2.1: introduction

Farming activities have
undergone a milestone of change over the past few years. Farmers are teaming up
to look for better services and to find the most appropriate way to carry out
their farming activities according to change in technology.

This has highly been
influenced by the high technology advancement with over 80% percent mobile
penetration and embracement of the new technology. Many systems have been
developed in different parts of the world to enhance online management of
farming activities which allows farmers to easily manage all activities by the
click of a button.

2.1.1:
Ag Hub farming system

Ag Hub is a modular
online farm management system that collects and displays automated data, so
that you have just one place to go for information and insight about your farm.
It lets you do the managing and monitoring you’re doing now, plus a lot more, without
the clutter of notebooks and paperwork. It was probably
the first company or business that got into online farmers management in a
serious way. It was first named as modular farming later changed to Ag Hub
online farming system and is seemingly signing up a good number of users
(Aghub.com, 2012).It is an online proven farm management system that
automatically collects and displays data to aid in gaining a deeper
understanding to the farmers about the happening in their farms. This aids in
time saving, informed decisions and increased productivity.it is configured to
suit all the needs of the New Zealand farm. Mapping of the farm is done and
then you can be able to search for modules interested in. there are specialist
to assist the farmers in obtaining the best modules based on their needs.

Features
of the system

Farming
activities profiling

Data from the farmers and
other users is available in the system

Order
entry and management

It provides a user
friendly interface in the Microsoft windows for all order entry functions.

Consulting
and documentation

There is linkage of
information to enhance evaluation by the agricultural officers, including the
alerts, checks and warnings with reporting system.

Advantages of the system

It keeps track of all the
activities that farmers carries out and gives a report of the progress.

It has linkage with other
companies who supply clothing and other equipment’s to the farmers

Disadvantages

It
does not give the farmers exposure to trainings about how to carry out farming effectively

It
is limited to supplying one type of the farm input giving farmers limited
choice of farm inputs

There
is no room for application of contracts i.e. lease of land, hiring of machinery
to perform farm operations.

2.1.2: Agrivi farm management
system

Agrivi is an application
available in the play store since May 2014 developed by agrivi an android developer.
It helps the farmers organize the whole farm, allocation of resources and
performing all the farming activities. It operates in Brazil under the
management of Diana Combra and her husband working with farmers who grow
soybeans. It I dedicated to bring knowledge to other farmers so that they can
improve their business operations and technical support and financial
knowledge.it deals with various strategies (Marques 2017) and methods to keep farm productive,
sustainable, and resistant and profitable. The system is based on;

Knowledge
base of best practice processes-for the success of any farmer they need skills
to be able to produce what the market requires and to the satisfaction of customers.
This system provides knowledge based on how to perform some activities in the
field, pest treatments and fertilizers enabling farmers to make informed decisions (Oljaca, et al 2015).

Real
farm data-agrivi enables you to collect, process and store all farm data in the
form of information needed (CHAUHAN, R. M. 2015). to carry out operations
functions of the farm i.e. inputs used, their cost and data on land use.

On
time information- multiple risk face the farmers which are beyond their control
such as weather conditions, diseases demand and market supply or market prices
for the farm inputs. Through agrivi events are traceable through the system and
immediately visible in the farm management software (in real time) to prevent
further waste and damage.

2.1.3: BigHaat.com

BigHaat.com
was started in January 2015 by Sachin, Kumar and Raj aiming to empower farmers
by providing them with quality agro inputs and accessories through a market
platform since they were aware of the multiple challenges faced by the farmers.

Being
an online market BigHaat allow the farmers to shop farm inputs such as seeds,
crop protection nutrients and solutions and agro instruments. It is a hybrid
model allowing online orders and also manually where they can interact with the
customers directly and help them place for the orders required. Other customers
include nurseries, poly-house and contract farming communities. They have a
call center where customers can call for enquiries on the deliveries and this
allows follow-ups to be made.it is also a platform to connect the farmers to
verified suppliers directly and reduce travel periods to secure their desired
product. It also provides post sale support by providing the demand forecast
based on their data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bänziger, M.
(2000). Breeding for drought and nitrogen stress tolerance in maize:
from theory to practice. Cimmyt.

Li, H., Qiu, J., Wang,
L., Tang, H., Li, C., & Van Ranst, E. (2010). Modelling impacts of
alternative farming management practices on greenhouse gas emissions from a
winter wheat–maize rotation system in China. Agriculture, ecosystems
& environment, 135(1), 24-33.

Ranum, P., Peña?Rosas, J. P., & Garcia?Casal, M. N. (2014). Global maize production,
utilization, and consumption. Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences, 1312(1), 105-112.

Ranum, P., Peña?Rosas, J. P., & Garcia?Casal, M. N. (2014). Global maize production,
utilization, and consumption. Annals of the New York Academy of
Sciences, 1312(1), 105-112.

Oljaca, M., Gligorevic,
K., Paic, M., & Dimitrovski, Z. (2015). Android smart phone application for
control process in progressive agriculture production. In Proceedings
of the Second Symposium on Agricultural Engineering ISAE-2015 (pp.
V13-V20). University of Belgrade, Faculty of Agriculture.

CHAUHAN, R. M.
(2015). Advantages And Challeging in E Agriculture.

Marques, M. J. R.
(2017). A Mobile Approach to Farmer-Computer Interaction