AgriTech startup, Jaguza Technologies has today launched and made official its USSD code *284*35#, which will allow farmers without a smartphone access the startup’s services similar to what its mobile application, the Jaguza Livestock app does. The app is available for downloadable from app store (iOS) and play store (Android).
Today, we’ve launched the offline version of the #JaguzaLivestockApp on the USSD code *284*35# which will allow local farmers without a smartphone or data/internet connection access information from even the most remote areas. pic.twitter.com/Pm5IzDHHSO
— Jaguza Livestock (@jaguza_app) June 22, 2020
Unlike the Jaguza Livestock app, the USSD is limited to a few services i.e. access to — vet services, animal gestation, market, and the weather. The application on this adds, monitoring the livestock’s health including; the heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and its whereabouts.
The USSD supports six (6) languages; English, Luganda, Lusoga, Runyakitara, Swahili, and French. The farmer selects their preferred language on registration. The farmer using feature phone is able to access over 85+ on-standby vet doctors, a market in case they want to sell or buy produce, a weather forecast that tells weather conditions for a period of 21 days, and animal gestation.
Jaguza is leveraging the use of Internet of Things (IoT) to play a role in improving and modernizing the agriculture sector in Uganda. Technologist, software developer and founder Jaguza Technologies; Mr. Ronald Katamba and his team having developed this startup becomes one of the new technologies that will improve animal health and welfare, reduce the environmental impact of livestock farming, and ensure high-quality and consistent produce for the consumers.
Jaguza is currently operating in Uganda, Mozambique Namibia and Fiji. Plans to expand to other countries in the next few years. In Uganda, the technology is being used in Entebbe, Kayunga, Pallisa, Mubende, Kirihura, and Nakifuma districts.
The World Bank’s Agriculture Observatory with the support of Draper University recently recognized the startup among the ‘Top Innovation Solutions’ in the 2020 Agriculture Risk Innovation Challenge. Launching the USSD allows them to access more farmers especially in the remote areas where usage of smartphone scales less compared in the urban areas.
Despite launching the USSD code, the team isn’t resting as they are reported working on drones equipped with thermal cameras — for large scale farms with large herds of livestock. However Mr. Katamba told PC Tech Magazine the process is being delayed because of the government policies.
“We can not complete this in time because some government policies are not favoring us. This is one of our biggest challenge apart from funding. We need to write to Ministry of Defence for us to have our drones operate,” Mr. Katamba told PC Tech Magazine during the installation of the system at a farm in Mubende.
However, there is a possibility of launching the drones soon after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) the regulator of the aviation industry in Uganda in May this year released the guidelines on importation and operation of drones in the country.