Sunday March 12 2017

Fishing for information

A fish market at a landing site in Ggaba near

A fish market at a landing site in Ggaba near Kampala. File photo 

By Lominda Afedraru

People dealing in fish value chain have the option of searching for market for their products using an app which has been designed and can be uploaded on one’s smart phone.

The older version called Agro Market day designed by Likamis Software Limited contained the features for farmers to advertise their agricultural produce for consumers to locate them to purchase the same.

However, the ministry of Agriculture directorate of fisheries in collaboration with National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI) has come in to give support for the new version to be upgraded for fish farmers to get information on market access including, agronomy practices in fish farming, disease infections and remedies, feed quality and others.

Isaac Omiat, one of the developers of the app, explained to participants attending the 9th Fish Forum in Kampala that the older model which comprises 2,800 users enables farmers’ access information on market prices of farm produce of different types and farm inputs. Farmers can also advertise their products.

Getting access
It required someone to have data of 10 MBs to be installed on a smart phone. Once installed, you will see information of someone selling farm produce say in Kalerwe Market and you will be able to locate the place and market price of the product because the person’s name will be revealed plus their phone contact.

But the current version termed as Aquaculture Innovation Lab has a component which can be loaded both on smart phones and non-smart phones and it will mainly contain information related to aquaculture.

The information will be on market access, pond conservation, use of fertiliser in ponds, how to hatch fingerlings, stocking in ponds, feed formulation, site selection, pond construction and water quality management among others.

The information will be gathered from scientists and those dealing in the fish value chain which will be fed into the app for accessibility.

It will be accessed in English, Luo, Runyakole, Rukiga and Ateso and accessing the information will mean users have to pay subscription fee for maintenance.

Omiat and team are in the process of getting a code from Uganda Communications Commissions and the technology is expected to be rolled out in four months’ time.