09 Jul Haller partners with Mara Phones and Deciwatt
Sharing mobile technology, reliable sources of electricity and sustainable agricultural knowledge with rural farming communities across East Africa.
The Haller Foundation has always sought to forge sustainable partnerships: between people and the land they work, and rural communities and technology. The partnerships Haller has formed with like-minded charities and organisations partnerships have now come full circle with the Haller Farmers App. The original Haller Farmers App was launched in 2014 and has helped 30,000 rural smallholders in Kenya improve their agricultural performance. The app has recently been relaunched, making it more accessible, intuitive and reliable. The relaunch has occurred in collaboration with award-winning app development agency, Red-C, and our long-term design partner, Pearlfisher. The app digitises 60 years of local agricultural knowledge, a goldmine of information for smallholder farmers faced with the issues of climate change, land degradation and food insecurity. All of the techniques demonstrated on the app are low cost and organic, meaning they can be readily transferred into routine farming practice.
One of the first hurdles in the promotion and dissemination of the app is the access to mobile technology needed to download it. Mara Phones focuses on the manufacture of phones in Africa, creating inclusive employment for women and young people, helping to drive local economies. They have produced the first high specification, affordable smartphone manufactured in Africa, and are now partnering with Haller, promoting the donate a phone to a farmer scheme. Phones will be available to buy at a discounted rate with the code ‘Haller’ and then distributed to communities which do not already have access to mobile technology. Scaling up the impact of the Haller Farmers app relies on the increased penetration of mobile technology across Africa, an objective which Mara Phones is helping us reach.
Access to technology is rendered useless without access to a source of renewable power, to charge mobiles and illuminate communities. Haller has previously partnered with Deciwatt, who distributed over 1,350 GravityLights to families in the communities surrounding Mombasa. The GravityLight was an innovative, sustainable alternative to kerosene lamps, but the company’s latest innovation provides brighter light for longer and the ability to charge mobile phones. NowLight creates instant light and power by efficiently harnessing human effort. Pulling on a cord for just a minute creates up to 2 hours of light or 15 minutes of talk-time on a mobile phone. In addition, NowLight can be used to charge devices through USB ports and supports mains and solar charging to increase its versatility.
In partnership, The Haller Foundation, Mara Phones and Deciwatt have the ability to unlock the potential of millions of smallholder farmers in Africa. In Kenya alone there are just under 5 million smallholder farmers at risk of food insecurity, forced to rely on marginal land to support themselves and their families. We believe that through the distribution of information and technology this situation can be overcome.
Haller Farmers is now available to download for free, from the Google Play Store, and once downloaded does not use up phone storage, data bundles or WIFI. If you would like to download the app, click here.
Apply the discount code ‘Haller” at the checkout to donate a phone to a farmer.
Find out more about the innovative technology behind NowLight.