Dr Ronald Tombe

Dr Ronald Tombe

Kenya

Kisii University

Computing Sciences

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Work and Research

Computer Vision, Data mining and Analytics, Machine Learning, Human Centered Computing, Software Engineering, Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Fields Of Expertise

Computer Vision and Machine Learning
Software Engineering
Application Systems Engineering

EASY-TO-USE SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS FOR FARMERS

Female and young farmers in Kenya and South Africa have still been marginalized despite the availability of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can facilitate online – essential services like farming seminars, education, and digital services for entrepreneurial activities – being made available by the state and other sectors. Despite the potential of possessing internet-enabled digital devices, the information and communication technologies that can bridge the gaps to inclusiveness are severely underutilised.

 

This impacts food security, well-being, and the social-economic development of indigenous communities in poor rural and urban areas and plays a fundamental role in achieving peace, security, and sustainable development.

In Kenya and South Africa, agricultural production accounts for most informal employment; and most people affected by high unemployment and vulnerable to inadequate access to essential services are women and the youth.

 

Dr Ronald Tombe’s FAR-LeaF research project is called Inclusive Agricultural Transformation: innovations and scaling of digital systems for enhancing productivity, knowledge preservation and incomes of indigenous communities.

 

He is passionate about research and creating contextualized software solutions that are easier to use and enrich user experiences. This postdoctoral opportunity will be an avenue to share, learn and innovate digital solutions that will enable economy-sector stakeholders such as students and business start-ups to utilize technology learning and business tools contextualized in Africa for transacting with ease.

 

There is a lack of integration in the agricultural chain to enable farmers to access the markets easily, receive timely and reliable information on farming techniques from farmer-to-farmers, and government agricultural agencies and access credit based on their farming history.

 

The agricultural value chain supports well-experienced commercial producers, leaving small room for small-scale farmers who are mostly women and youths – which leaves them lacking in skills and access to markets and capital. This, in turn, makes it difficult for these emerging farmers to have meaningful participation in the agricultural value chain.

 

Dr Tombe’s project aims to redress the imbalance to ensure the inclusion and participation of women and youths in the agricultural value chain.

Governments have set up strategic initiatives such as agricultural parks which seek to create hubs of farming activities and include economic infrastructure which is promising.

 

Without the necessary coordination among the various players to align interests and drive the vision forward, these strategies will remain susceptible and vulnerable to endogenous and external pressures. Agriculture generally is the sector with the highest potential for poverty reduction through food sufficiency and wealth creation. Effective digital solutions will enable farmers in developing countries to deal with challenges such as timely farming advice on farming practices, quick access to market information on farm produce and access to capital.