Farming is one of those disciplines that Zimbabweans have more or less taken to. This doesn’t only cover commercial operations but for those of us who have a home garden. The problem that most new farmers run into when starting out is a place to get all the information they need to inform on what seeds to buy where to buy them and organisations that can offer assistance. This issue looks to have solved in part by a mobile application called Goho.
Goho is an Android application that offers farmers both new and old the information they need in order to get started. It, I think, can also be very useful for seasoned farmers who are looking to transition to a new type of crop or are looking for farm equipment suppliers.
The application has a very simple layout and contains information on the following:
- Crop types and their individual peculiarities. At the moment the app only has information on horticulture.
- Input suppliers, ranging from seed and fertilizer outlets and their contact details.
- A crop planting calendar.
- Farming equipment, for anyone looking for farm machinery and irrigation hardware.
- Information about exporting produce.
- Contact details for government agencies like the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Lands.
- Links to Farming groups on social media and WhatsApp
- The latest commodity prices at Mbare Musika.
Most of the apps functions don’t require data except for the latest commidity prices. The rest of the information on display will only cost you the data it requires to download the app.
It is a great beginners guide
Goho at present is a great starting point for many farmers because if you, for example, need the contact details for a seed supplier the two routes are to look on the internet or asking someone via WhatsApp. Both routes require data and you might not get the help you need when you need it especially over WhatsApp. Having all of this information in one place is a really big plus for farmers.
I particularly like the addition of the social media groups. New farmers can get a access to the experiences of others without having to randomly search and sift through social media. As good as the app is now it can be made even better.
A few things Goho can add
The addition of seed manufactures is great but the app doesn’t have, at least from what I have seen, an array of local seedling producers. This is especially important for those who are going into horticulture both for a home garden or for commercial operations.
Another feature that would make this app even better (even if it may require data) are the prices for the various inputs. It’ll be immensely helpful to get all those prices in one place and for price comparison purposes.
The last thing I think would be a good addition would be listing the details of supermarkets and vendors who want to buy fresh produce. This will of course require the consent of the buyers but will allow small scale farmers to have some avenues to sell their produce.
You can check out the app for yourself with the link here.