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
255 new mobile stations for Senegal pilgrimageA total of 255 new mobile stations or BTS antennas have been made available in Senegal by SONATEL to cater for millions of Mouride believers who have gathered to the ‘holy city’ of Touba for their annual religious pilgrimage called ‘Magal de Touba’. Read More
Airtel customers to pay for Nairobi parking with Airtel MoneyBharti Airtel has partnered with Jambo Pay and Nairobi City County to introduce a payment option for parking fees via the Airtel Money platform. Read More
4G tests must be free, warns Senegal regulatorSenegal’s telecommunication regulator last week warned telecommunications companies not to charge users during their 4G tests. Read More
Ghana Telecoms Chamber, UNICEF launch Africa against Ebola SMS campaignThe Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, together with UNICEF, has officially launched the Africa against Ebola Solidarity SMS Campaign. Read More
Safaricom launches LTE AdvancedSafaricom has launched its LTE Advanced (4G) proposition in Kenya. Read More
MTN apologises to SA customers for network disruptionsMTN has issued an apology to South African customers affected by service disruptions in the past two weeks. Read More
The delivery of international SMS: outlook for 2025Marking the 22nd anniversary of the first SMS, BICS says SMS will enjoy a healthy future, at least for the next 10 years. Read More
Chris wins Ghana Vodafone Icons 2014 in grand styleThe auditorium of Ghana’s national theatre came to a standstill on Wednesday night as the master of ceremonies for the occasion announced Chris as the overall winner of the 2014 Vodafone Icon contest. Read More
Airtel Ghana sweeps PR Excellence AwardsAirtel Ghana, Telecommunications giant and winner of CIMG Marketing Oriented Company of the Year, has won five awards at the 2014 Institute of Public Relations Excellence Awards. Read More
FEATURED STORYPWC: Optimism abounds but a bumpy journey ahead for some
PwC’s ‘Capital Projects & infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa,’ report says infrastructure spend in the region is projected to reach $180bn per annum by 2025.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.