Development of an interactive web portal for Kenyan Tea  

Ngige W. John1 , Kinyua K. Johnson2 , Kariuki Daniel3 , Gitonye W. Christopher4 , Mwangi John5
1. School of Science, Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology
2. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
3. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
4. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology
5. Mount Kenya University
Author    Correspondence author
Journal of Tea Science Research, 2015, Vol. 5, No. 4   doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2015.05.0004
Received: 17 Mar., 2015    Accepted: 23 Jun., 2015    Published: 08 Jul., 2015
© 2015 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Ngige W. John, Kinyua K. Johnson, Kariuki Daniel, Gitonye W .Christopher and Mwangi John, 2015, Development of an interactive web portal for Kenyan Tea, Journal of Tea Science Research, 5(4), 1-11 (doi: 10.5376/jtsr.2015.05.0004)

Abstract

In Kenya the tea sector’s growth is dependent on tea production, marketing and research. For better performance of these key areas, information flow is critical. However the information flow is still poor due to lack of an effective information delivery system. Although development of web sites and other cross platform tea information systems have made information sharing easier and faster than ever, their dynamic, unstructured nature and lack of necessary level of interaction limit their potential in the information delivery. The exponential growth of these resource platforms has also resulted to scattering of the information widely which makes it difficult for users to obtain the desired information efficiently. Marketing is also ineffective due to lack of an online marketing tool for the Kenyan tea, and with the increased global market competition posed by the major tea producers in the world, Kenya is faced with major threats in maintaining its tea market share. In this project an interactive web portal was developed as a resource platform for tea, that would bring together the tea information into an integrated “one-stop shop” for improved efficiency in information access and retrieval, and to provide a marketing platform for the Kenyan tea. The development process involved; designing of web portal architecture, development of the system components, system testing and hosting the program on World Wide Web. The following utilities with outstanding features were used to develop the portal; Joomla! 3.2, XAMPP, PHP5.3.1, MySQL 5.1.41, PhpMyAdmin, Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 and site extensions including; PixSearch, Joom!Fish, VirtueMart and JomSocial. The web portal was then evaluated in JKUAT based on organization of information, friendliness of the user interface and efficiency in information access and retrieval. This project was based on qualitative research that involved interviews, observations, documents and literature analysis. It was expected that this work would have a positive impact on tea production, marketing and research, and subsequently ensuring development of the tea industry in Kenya.

Keywords
Tea sector in Kenya; Information flow; Global market competition; Web portal
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