IMG-20170330-WA0041Goat Farmers Should Embrace Information Technology
Goat Farmers scored a first by apart from using WhatsApp to network went further to establish own website, Together with the website farmers economic growth trust runs an interactive Facebook page. This is quite an expedition deep into the information technology jungle. Goat Farmers are yet to explore information technology in line with goat production.
Management Information
Goat Farmers Should generate management information on their day to day activities to help them make tactical decisions.
For instance the farmer need to have quantitative information on the number of kids, does and bucks. The carrying capacity of the farm, number of paddocks, number of workers and many other farm fixed and variable inputs. The farm needs to keep qualitative data of the goat enterprise. For instance the goat breeds at the farm have to be classified and where conditions permit be separated. The quality of pastures and nutrient content. Quality of supplements need to be recorded and documented.
Financial records need to be kept. Any money spent or received on the goat project has to be recorded. Plans and budgets have to be developed and implemented.
Goat Farmers need to manage diseases. Farmers need to know scientifically the types of worms found on the farm in order to develop a protocol to minimise their negative impact on goats. In order to reduce disease resistance, farmers should keep an accurate record of drugs and chemicals used on the farm.
In the paper world this is an overwhelming management expedition to be able to keep all the necessary records. First paper based Information system is expensive in paper and ink costs and that there is no repetitive use of these resources. Second, the goat project needs to dedicate a person to capture and store data and significant storage space and supporting stationery such as files.
The net course of action by most goat farmers is to disregard record keeping to varying degrees while others do selective record keeping. Keeping inadequate records is as bad as keeping no records at all. If records are not complete they cannot help in managerial decision making. For instance if a framer keeps records of how many goats are at the farm without keeping additional records of how many are bucks, does and kids, how will that farmer react to a client looking for a certain number of goats? The most probable answer will be to ask for time to count the goats. If the client is in a hurry the goat farmer risks losing the client.
Information Technology has made life easier. All the farmer needs is a tablet or an android phone to be able to keep all the records. Data with the help of an email address can be kept in cloud storage far away from the farm. If one surf the internet several applications are available that can perform various tasks such as financial recording, stock recording, disease management, inventory, customer suppliers, financials and many other regimes of data. Data is available at the palm of the farmer in real time using information technology.
Goat Farmers are challenging friendly IT firm’s such as Webzim to design Apps that are home grown. These apps for an example ‘Goat Manager’ can use local languages to accommodate most goat farmers in the rural areas who may not be comfortable in English language. Supported by a training program, farmers can manage goat farming processes easily. Embracing information technology is the most appropriate way forward for goat farmers.
What are the Steps
The steps necessary to migrate to information technology approach involves the following.
1. Each farmer should acquire a gadget such as a mobile phone, a tablet or a laptop.
2. Each farmer should be trained on the capabilities of these IT gadgets.
3. With input from farmers design an application to manage