AgTech Insights with Ronald Katamba


About the company


Jaguza farm management operating platform is developed to work with you, not only displaying animal information but also supporting your working routines to record all the important livestock events that happen throughout your day, as they happen. The result is that an insemination, heat, vaccination, pregnancy check or health treatment will never again be missed, and that you can accurately record every action, in real time.


Jaguza puts the power to make better decisions, right into your pocket. With this app the farmer can see which cows in the herd have a temperature behavior and rumination requiring attention, such as cows that are sick or in heat. The farmer can be alerted on his/her phone.


Jaguza helps people with their farming problems, especially people who are socially or economically disadvantaged. We can help you with farming problems about disease, market, farming methods, information sharing, livestock monitoring and reporting. This helps poor rural communities in Uganda as well as the entire world to seek information confidently and without fear; regardless of economic status, educational level or gender in their local languages. This will help in empowering villagers improving access to farming there by increases there yields and production


About Ronald Katamba

Ronald Katamba
Founder and CEO Ronald Katamba

Ronald is the Founder and CEO of Jaguza Tech and AfroSoft IT Solutions in Uganda. Ronald's vision to improve, modernize and simplify livestock management for farmers in his country has blossomed into an international business that has the potential to positively impact countless persons along the agricultural value-chain.


As a 12-year-old orphan, he reared rabbits to finance his schooling. Imagine his dismay when he awoke one morning to find that his source of revenue had died from an undetectable disease that quickly killed all of his rabbits. From that moment he purposed to find a way to prevent the spread of animal diseases for other livestock farmers while also improving productivity.


His purpose fueled an interest to study software engineering at the Makerere University in Uganda’s capital city, Kampala. While still a student, he shared his vision with other students who joined him to make it a reality.


Let's begin!


Mark: In layman's terms, can you tell us about the Jaguza livestock management technology, and how it's helping farmers?


Ronald: Jaguza is an online and offline, cloud-based livestock management system that incorporates the use of low-cost sensors, drones, livestock collars and GPS trackers to gather real-time information about location, speed, body temperature and stress levels of livestock. This information is processed using advanced algorithms using artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and machine learning to model solutions to the above three problems.


Jaguza enables users to perform a range of farm livestock record management tasks via the convenience of their smartphone or tablet whilst on the go and also from our online web-based system and offline desktop system. Jaguza uses a motion sensing device attached inside the animal’s ear to transmit its movements to a program driven by artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science. The sensor repeatedly sends real-time information, eventually allowing our farmer to tell from data alone when a cow is chewing cud, lying down, walking, drinking or eating. Such indicators are used predict whether a particular cow is ill, has become less productive, or is ready to breed alerting the farmer to changes in behavior that might otherwise be easily missed.


Jaguza relies in it being operational both online and offline and it includes access to information through short message service messages (SMS) and a USSD. application for farmers in remote areas without internet and smart phones. In addition, the platform includes a GIS system for monitoring animal disease outbreaks and includes an e-commerce platform for helping farmers access genuine online veterinary doctors and drugs and livestock equipment as well to sell their animals and their products.


The weather forecast of 21 days in advance that help farmers to plan according in. time. Jaguza is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) business with a business model built around sensor purchase and installation fees, sensor maintenance fees, subscription fees for veterinary practitioners, buyer subscription fees and commission of animal and product sales through Jaguza’s e-commerce platform.


Mark: Jaguza has been endorsed by the likes of Apple and Microsoft. How have those global tech giants helped you with realizing your dreams?


Ronald: These global tech giants have helped us provide cloud services such as servers for hosting our applications. Also, through our company Afrosoft IT Solutions, we have been provided with hardware devices for training Internet of Things (IoT) in east Africa to all university and college schools.



Mark: How have you been able to use technological advancements like AI, machine learning, drones, RFID chips and Internet of Things (IoT), while keeping these affordable for economically disadvantaged Ugandan farmers?


Ronald: We provide our devices in small packages of 10 tags to enable small holder farmers afford the technology. With these small packages a farmer is still able to tag a few animals they have and keep the rest until when their animals increase in number. Our tags are also transferable from one animal to another.


The drones are indeed not affordable but are hired out to small holder farmers on an hourly or daily basis.


Mark: Outside of Uganda, where else has this innovation been widely used?


Ronald: Our innovation has been embraced in Namibia, Mozambique and Fiji. We are still planning to roll out in South Africa and Kenya. We have other countries requesting like Gambia, Swaziland and Botswana we have also be told to have two paid pilot in Dallas, Texas where we shall have more than 2000 heads of cattle installing them our device and also our management software for traceability at all level.


Such indicators are used predict whether a particular cow is ill, has become less productive, or is ready to breed alerting the farmer to changes in behavior that might otherwise be easily missed.

Mark: You are an entrepreneur, inventor, farming advocate, and software developer, all at once. What other hats do you see yourself wearing down the road?


Ronald: I see myself wearing a mentorship hat in order to help young developers and entrepreneurs who are rising up. My company right now focuses also on training younger people in hands-on skills in agriculture digital innovation and AI.


Mark: Have livestock farmers been open to giving you useful feedback and what have you been able to learn from them?


Ronald: Yes, I have received several feedback from our customers using our system and also our potential clients that have got a change to interact with our application.


Recently, we carried out a customer survey through our partners, 60DeciBels that makes it easy to listen to the people who matter most. Their Lean Data (SM) approach turns customer voice into high-value insights that help you grow your business and maximize your impact. We also go to the ground, we've acquired a Research certificate from National Council of Science and Technology and we visited the people and found out what they want. Through consultation, that’s when the offline system develops together with the SMS and USSD.


Through this, farmers have testified on how Jaguza system has impacted their lives. I am happy to inform you that farmers reported 36% increase in their livelihood since adoption of the system.


Mark: What improvements are you working on for this app as it continues to grow and get better?


Ronald: There are many developments in the background which I can’t say here but we have also incorporated a QR code module for traceability purposes to enable farm owners to filter information on an individual animal through the application. He or she can scan the QR code on the animal tag and the system will provide all the data about [that] specific animal including its health status.


I have also enabled farmers and veterinary doctors to have a video conference (Farmer Conference App) through the application to enable clear real-time reporting and feedback.


Mark: What advice do you have for young, aspiring entrepreneurs about following their passions and making dreams come true?


Ronald: Be persistent and true to your dreams. Write them down, collect data and resources, relate with people that have the same dream or are resourceful. Time will come when the door will open and your dream will come true. However, this happens when you have taken time to prepare and build capacity for it.


Mark: Thank you very much for sharing your insights, Ronald!


 

Visit Jaguza Tech or reach Ronald by email katambaronald@gmail.com or +256-703034758.


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