New mobile alliance for 500,000 farmers
MOBILE| June 15, 2012, 2:02 p.m.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Vodafone, and TechnoServe have launched a new partnership to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
The Connected Farmer Alliance will leverage mobile phone-enabled solutions to improve supply chain efficiency and increase farmers’ ability to access secure, timely payments and other financial services.
The partnership will reach more than 500,000 smallholder farmers by expanding the use of mobile financial services pioneered by Vodafone’s existing mobile money platform, M-Pesa—a highly successful SMS-based money transfer service already at scale in Kenya where 15 million people exchange USD850 million via the system every month. Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania are priorities of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, and home to Vodafone affiliate companies.
Vodafone and TechnoServe will work with farming communities and supply chains in these countries to develop and scale mobile applications that enable rural households to transfer and receive payments securely, access other financial services, and facilitate linkages to local and multinational agribusinesses, especially those looking to serve smallholder farmers working in Feed the Future priority value chains.
“Smallholder farmers across the developing world face obstacles that prevent them from increasing their incomes and strengthening food security, including limited access to the credit, new technologies, local markets and the latest agricultural information,” said Raj Shah, Administrator of USAID. “This partnership represents one step in reducing these barriers and is part of USAID’s deep commitment to delivering meaningful results that address the root causes of poverty and hunger.”
Vodafone’s Group External Affairs Director, Matthew Kirk, said: “Small-scale farmers in emerging markets are both vulnerable and vital: without a steep increase in their productivity, it is hard to see how future generations will avoid global food shortages. Mobile is already transforming hundreds of millions of people's lives in ways unimaginable only a decade ago. Working with partners from other sectors allows us to take that transformation to some of the toughest challenges facing international development.”
"It’s critical that smallholder farmers have access to services that allow them to manage transactions, receive payments, access credit and increase their savings,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of TechnoServe. “Mobile technology offers a rapidly growing platform to give farmers access to these services. At the same time, mobile money can make it easier for other players in agricultural value chains to connect to farmers more efficiently. The Connected Farmer Alliance will help unleash the potential of mobile solutions to transform agricultural markets and create new opportunities for smallholder farmers.”
Vodafone is also a key partner in the recently announced G8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, a commitment by G8 nations, African countries and private sector partners to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years through inclusive and sustained agricultural growth.
MORE MOBILE NEWS
Vodafone Foundation donates to two health institutions in AccraVodafone Foundation Ghana has made separate financial donations to the Anatomy Department of the University of Ghana Medical School and the Cardiothoracic Centre all at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra. Read More
TNM SMS Soccer promotion hands CAF-bound team K9.3mMalawi’s representatives in this year’s CAF Champions League competition emerged the top earner with K9.3 million in the Sapota Mapeto promotion, an SMS initiative by TNM aimed at assisting clubs achieve financial sustainability. Read More
Mobile commerce changes the game for retailers in AfricaThe rapid evolution in the capabilities of mobile phones is revolutionising the retail space, and the concept of mobile commerce or mCommerce has become a central focus in the digital strategies of many retailers, says Wipro. Read More
Orange rolls out 3G network to 14 more areas of KenyaOrange has added 14 more urban centres to its 3G network as it moves to consolidate its data services business in the new financial year. Read More
Orange, title partner of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial GuineaOrange is once again the title sponsor of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off in Equatorial Guinea this weekend. Read More
Kenya’s smartphone owners turn to insuranceKenyan smartphone owners are fast adopting specialized insurance to cover loss, theft or damage to their devices, reports Kenya Orient Insurance. Read More
Globacom win ‘changed my life’, says farmerGlobacom has presented N1 million each to lucky subscribers, including a 50-year-old farmer who just came out of detention for a minor traffic offence, and a musician in the ongoing N120 million Glo Overload promotion. Read More
Gabon’s vast campaign to register mobile users gets underwayGabon mobile operators Airtel, Moov, Azur and Libertis are currently involved in a vast campaign to register their subscribers to ensure that they comply with the law as set out by ARCEP, the country's regulator. Read More
MTN Ghana: no change in scratch card priceMTN Ghana says it has noted with concern the individual actions of some of its retailers to increase the prices of its scratch cards by various percentages. Read More
Tigo supports three young social entrepreneurs with laptopsTech needs Girls, IT4Teens and the Street Library Academy have each received five laptops from Tigo to enable them reach out to more children in deprived communities. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.
COMPANY NEWSAlbany CTG, Microsoft, collaborate on School of Government Program
The University at Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG) has announced its collaboration with Microsoft Corporation to deliver executive level training to government leaders in Africa ...VMware reports fourth quarter and full year 2014 results
VMware, the global leader in virtualisation and cloud infrastructure, has announced financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of 2014.