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Mobile phones 'transforming' Kenya’s livestock sector

Farmers and veterinarians across Africa are using mobile phones to get updates on livestock diseases and to receive web access

The telecoms industry is rapidly expanding in Africa and mobile phone applications have the ability to send fast alerts for animal disease outbreaks and essential veterinary care can be tracked via a Global Positioning System function, according to an FAO report.

“The FAO and partners are piggy-backing on this enormous uptake of mobile phone technology for uses in reporting animal disease outbreaks, tracking vaccination campaigns and the delivery of veterinary treatments, such as deworming animals,” stated Robert Allport, FAO Kenya’s assistant FAO representative for programme implementation.

In Kenya, the FAO has joined forces with the Royal Veterinary College and local NGO Vetaid, to support the pilot testing of a mobile phone application developed by researchers at the Imperial College London’s School of Public Health.

"Cellular phones eliminate delays in receiving field data, since all the information is relayed via the mobile network," said Allport.