Farmers in Africa await French app that checks cattle’s reproductive behaviour

Medria Technologies, a French monitoring solutions vendor, has developed using Machine-to-Machine communication (M2M) that monitors a cow’s reproductive behaviour and notifies the farmers automatically.

The app, which uses Vel’Phone and HeatPhone solutions, will see cows send SMS texts to their owners notifying them when they are ready for gestation, calving or in time for artificial insemination. According to the app’s developer, it will ensure reduced emergencies, increased reproduction and save time for farmers.

At the moment, Deutsche Telekom and Medria are partnering to equip 5,000 farms in Europe with the machine to machine application, all fitted with Deutsche Telekom SIM cards.

The SIM cards are fitted into the M2M data collection devices, which are later installed inside the cow’s stable or in the fields. The sensors record vital reproductive data from the cows and relays to the data collection device that notifies the farmer directly through an SMS text message.

When a cow begins to calve or is ready for insemination, the M2M communication technology alerts the farmer instead of him or her monitoring manually.

Developers of the technology say farmers will use little time to monitor the cows which will lead to a higher reproduction rate, curb emergencies and reduce farm related stress and lead to more profit for farmers.

Apart from the data SMS sent to the farmer’s cell phone, farmers can also use Medria’s Daily Web Services Internet platform fitted with a M2M GPRS data transmission linking the data collection devices and Medria’s data centre. In circumstances when the Telecom network is weak or off, the SIM card switches automatically to the stronger network in the farmer’s location.

The app would be a welcome technology in Africa, whose economy is reliant on agriculture. According to FAO’s Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative, nearly 70 percent or 150 million of the rural poor in Sub Saharan Africa are at least partially dependent on livestock to sustain their livelihoods. A further 35 per cent of agricultural GDP is from livestock production, any move therefore to improve livestock production to reduce poverty is welcome.

Similar apps have been initially developed in Africa. A sheep farmer from South Africa developed an app that allows his herd to call him in case of theft.

Posted in: Mobile

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