Airtel in farmer support project
DEVELOPMENTBy BiztechAfrica - Sept. 5, 2012, 12:17 p.m.
Airtel is working with the GSMA to initiate a project to provide approximately 250,000 small-holder farmers in Kenya with reliable and relevant agricultural information via their mobile phones.
The innovative project, dubbed ‘Sauti ya Mkulima’ (Swahili for voice of the farmer), aims to provide farmers with access to pertinent agriculture-related information, advice and research that will help them make better decisions about their crops, increasing the productivity of their yield, as well as their potential income. It will also help create a farmer community within which peers can share experiences and exchange information about social gatherings, events, and job opportunities.
“At Airtel, we recognize innovative telecommunications solutions have the power to transform communities. This initiative is a solid testament to what partnerships that harness relevant consumer needs can achieve in overcoming daily challenges. We are excited and thankful to the partners involved in birthing this initiative,” said Shivan Bhargava, Managing Director, Airtel Kenya.
He added: “Our ‘Sauti ya Mkulima’ project will provide small-holder farmers with access to quality content, information and know-how on agriculture-related activities. Gaining access to this information will be immensely beneficial to the farmers whose livelihoods are dependent on their yield. The information will allow them to make better informed decisions that will result in improved productivity.”
As part of the partnership, the GSMA mFarmer initiative – supported by USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – has awarded Airtel USD 400,000 to be used towards the ‘Sauti ya Mkulima’ project.
The initiative aims to facilitate the rapid scaling of the use of mobile phone networks to provide farmers in developing countries with agricultural information. The funds will be used to develop a reliable database of content with the help of partners such as the Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI), an inter-governmental not-for-profit organization and radio-based information provider Kilimo Media, as well as to set up the technological capabilities to execute the project with the help of world-class technology service providers.
Initially, ‘Sauti ya Mkulima’ will focus on small-holder Kenyan farmers engaged in maize, banana, mango, rice, beans and horticulture (tomato and black night shade) crops. Information on more crops will be added on a quarterly basis. Airtel plans to further develop the model and eventually replicate it across all its markets on the continent.
MORE DEVELOPMENT NEWS
MTN Foundation supports orphans in CameroonFriends of the MTN Foundation have supported orphans at the Marie France Foundation Reception Centre in Cameroon. Read More
AfDB: Ghana power network to be reinforcedThe Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a US $30.47 million grant and a US $43.9 million loan to the Republic of Ghana to reinforce and extend the country’s electricity distribution network. Read More
AfDB affirms support of Power AfricaThe African Development Bank (AfDB) is planning to deepen its engagement in Power Africa in 2014. Read More
M-KOPA Solar targets 1m homes by 2018M-KOPA Solar has closed its most recent round of funding, raising Ksh 1.72 billion to fund expansion of its customer base from 50,000 homes to one million homes by 2018. Read More
GE gives $1m to children’s fundGE has donated $1 million to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. Read More
Demand for energy independence opens opportunities in gas turbine marketSubstantial growth in energy demand and policy changes to decrease gas flaring are driving new power plants installation in Africa and fuelling the uptake of gas turbines, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
Mobile libraries to take multimedia facilities to Angola’s youthAngola is launching a new network of mobile multimedia libraries, to take ICT access to underserved areas. Read More
More productive jobs for youth vital for Africa’s developmentCreating millions of productive, well-paying jobs will be vital to boost economic growth in Africa, according to a new World Bank report on youth employment in Africa. Read More
Safaricom raises KES4m for kidsA gala dinner hosted by the Safaricom Technology Division Thursday night raised over KES4 million to go towards a dormitory for the Zabibu Centre. Read More
Alcatel-Lucent, Injaz partner on education in Morocco and EgyptAlcatel-Lucent is partnering Injaz Egypt and Injaz Al Maghrib in Morocco on youth education programmes in both countries. Read More
FEATURED STORYMACRA demystifies spectrum management
Malawi's regulator explains the issues around spectrum allocation. Gregory Gondwe reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHYouthConnekt launches Mobile Apps for Human Development Challenge in Rwanda
Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and ICT and the UNDP, in close collaboration with Motorola Solutions, will power a Mobile App Challenge that will be implemented by YouthConnekt.