Translations Best practice in French version Best practice in English version

iCow: GREEN DREAMS’ agriculture information service to help kenynian farmers enhance their productivity

7. Community involvement

Skills and technology transfer


Founded in 2000 by Su Kahumbu, Green Dreams Company was the first locally certified Organic farm in Kenya in 2004.
In 2010 she also developed the Icow service. ICow is an agricultural information platform accessed primarily via mobile phones, which provides information to the farmers.
Icow is used by more than 100,000 farmers in the Kenya. The principle of this service is to send SMS information to smallholder farmers. This brings them a virtual assistance and advice in the breeding and reproduction of their cattle, but also in feeding, the milk production, etc… This is not a free service: each sms will cost about 0.03 euros.


  • Look at the underlying problems (water, electricity) in order to train the farmers accordingly,
  • Invest the platform to build knowledge for the farmers on how to develop and produce organic food,
  • Assist small scale farmers maximize their returns


In 2010, Su Kahumbu participates in a hackathon (event where developers meet to do collaborative computer programming, on several days) "App4Africa". The challenge: 48 h for a simple and easily applicable project. Su Kahumbu then puts in place a timetable of pregnancy of cows: a tool that allows an operator to manage the velation of a flock and to optimise milk production. She won the competition and the Icow application is created.

Icow is used by more than 160,000 farmers in the Kenya. The principle of this service is to send SMS information to smallholder farmers. It brings them a virtual assistance and advice in the cattle farming and breeding, but also in their diet, milk production, etc.

Since then the application offers even more services, like how to prevent certain insects, how to manage for the best laying hens farms or how to choose the best plantations according to the right soil.


  • 0.03 euro per sms
  • 160 000 agricultures’ use Icow and 600 000 are part of the data base
  • Partnership with Safaricom (the Kenyan telecom operator) who takes in charge all the marketing. ELEA, Biovision and Accenture are also some of the actors who support Icow.


  • Try  to convert farmers into green farmers. Climate change shocked Kenya as 80% of the population (44 M) rely on agriculture,
  • 55% of people in Kenya have mobile phones but electricity is not widespread,
  • Farmer Profile: age is 32 years old (nat. av 55-60), 34% female  66% male
  • The majority of the farmers have changed their practices in productions. They implemented and increased sustainable practices.
  • Average age of the users of the app has gone from 45 to 35 between 2013 and 2014
8 (2015)


Su Kahumbu, PDG & Fondateur, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..k

Mise à jour le 24/05/2016

Creative Commons Attribution This work by Réseau Alliances – World Forum Lille is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.