Startups

CowTribe is Ghana’s 911 service helping livestock farmers hail veterinary officers during emergencies

CowTribe is an on-demand platform for farmers in Ghana to search for and call a veterinary doctor whenever their cattle falls sick especially in rural areas where access to veterinary services is a major problem.

Co-founded by Awin Peter, Alima Bawah, Sampson Adotey Jnr and Sylvester Adjapong, CowTribe’s Shepherd Platform allows smallholder farmers in Ghana to call for veterinary services from vetted veterinary officers and animal health specialists near them in case of any emergency. The team says it uses latest data analysis and mobile technology to quickly and easy connect the farmers to reliable vet services near them via text or call through its call center.

According to Awin Peter, Co-founder and CEO of CowTribe, “The sole idea is to build emergency platform that can make veterinary health care services available to every farmer, anywhere, anytime. That’s the goal that we have set for ourselves.”

“Every day millions of poor farmers in Africa  struggle to access better veterinary care for their livestock.We’re building a brand new way for small-scale farmers to connect to animal care,” the firm adds.

CowTribe says the Shepherd platform is connected to its call center and with a simple call to a short code, the farmer is connected to an operator who will ask a few basic questions and quickly triangulate the appropriate need during the emergency. From the farmers description, CowTribe decides whether to immediately schedule an animal officer from its over 500 national network of both private and public veterinarians, animal nutritionists and trained animal health volunteers.

Apart from the interactive voice radio services, farmers can use an SMS-based platform for farm emergencies, real-time notifications on a disease outbreak as well as practical tips or symptoms and advise them on what they ought to do to avoid the spread of the epidemic. Whether using voice or SMS, the on-demand platform ensures farmers’ needs are met and safeguarded from loss of their livestock.

After a Vet receives an emergency request, he or she reviews it and decides whether to deny or accept it but once accepted, the Vet means he is available and will attend on the request within 24 hours or less. The platform boasts to have connected over 10,000 farmers from across the country and is continuing to sign up more farmers and veterinarians everyday. The team was inspired by the fact that about 80% of farmers in Africa depend on their livestock as the main source of livelihood yet 30% of livestock die each year because of disease outbreaks claiming about $4billion in income losses annually. CowTribe aims to put a stop to such deaths in Ghana, West Africa and across the entire continent.

CowTribe aims to make money via annual subscriptions of $5 per farmer to access 24hr emergency response, disease outbreak alerts, routine livestock checkup and subsidized vaccination and treatment costs. On the other hand, animal health workers and veterinarians pay a monthly fee of $25 to access the service and connect with patients.

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