Justdiggit and KaiOS have started a project to empower rural African farmers with mobile technology. Through KaiOS-enabled smart feature phones, 300 participants get information to improve their livelihoods, help avert climate change through regreening, and generally increase their quality of life with access to advanced digital services.
Regreening, why and how?
Climate change and misuse of land cause droughts and desertification, degrading vast areas of fertile farmlands. This leads to failed harvests, poverty, and climate refugees. In Africa, around 350 million smallholder farmers deal with these issues already or will have to soon.
Via a new Regreen App developed for KaiOS, Justdiggit aims to inspire and educate these farmers to regreen their lands. The app is based on Justdiggit’s proven and scalable regreening techniques, which have already regreened 60,000 Ha of (farm)lands in Africa within 3 years. This effort includes bringing back 5 million trees, which save 11 billion litres of water annually and capture more than 1.8M tons of CO2e.
The transformation of degraded lands
Besides the Regreen app, farmers in the program benefit from all KaiOS features, such as internet browsing and apps like YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook. This means that our project tackles three important issues simultaneously:
- Improve farmers’ livelihoods
- Combat climate change
- Close the digital divide.
Reaching hundreds of millions of farmers
After using a KaiOS-enabled smart feature phone for several weeks, roughly half of the participants (52%) said they’re willing to buy a device for between US$22-28. This range matches the retail price of most KaiOS devices, demonstrating the scalability and sustainability of this initiative.
Participants exploring how to go online and use the regreen app through the KaiOS devices
With 350 million African farmers impacted by climate change and hundreds of millions affected by the digital divide, the potential of reaching and teaching them via mobile is enormous. Our goal is to further develop this model and scale it up together with other partners to eventually connect and inspire all smallholder farmers on the African continent.
Our pilot project joined by a group of enthusiastic farmers in Tanzania who accessed the internet for the first times