In Brief

iShamba is providing farmers in developing countries with advice on agricultural challenges

An SMS pops up on Joseph Mburu’s screen in a Nairobi call centre. “I have mulberry trees kwa shamba, my problem is moles. Wat can i do?”

Mburu, an agriculture expert, texts back. He recommends the use of a trap or poison. If that doesn’t work, try burning dry cow dung in the mole hole or pouring in one-week old cow urine, he suggests.

The inquiry is one of dozens arriving in iShamba’s new call centre every day. Farmers across Kenya can call or text any question they like, with the guarantee of a near immediate answer in English, Swahili or one of four regional languages.

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