It doesn’t have a great name – the Livestock Identification Tracking System – but it’s cow chipping by any name. Created by Virtual City using Microsoft technology, it uses radio frequency identification (RFID) to keep track of cattle in Kenya, according to a Microsoft blog post.
The tag goes in the cow’s stomach (no word on which one, or how it doesn’t end up coming out again) and keeps information on the cow’s origin, previous owners and medical history that’s transmitted by SMS, which means a decrease in administrative costs, helps stop fraud and eventually helps the country’s beef exports.
Virtual City CEO John Waibochi said:
“For the export market you needed to have good traceability for cattle. A lot of the cattle here are held by pastoralists and no real fixed abode, and we needed to find a way of how we are going to track a product that is constantly on the move.”
Given that figures show that agriculture is responsible for 50% of Kenya’s GDP, creates employment for about 70% of the population, and brings in 80% of export earnings, anything that helps is a blessing. Just as long as they don’t confuse chipping and tipping.