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
Satellite-powered tablet to use Newtec technology for e-learningSatellite solution provider Yazmi has announced a new e-learning scheme using the first satellite-enabled tablet, called Odyssey, and Newtec's multicast technology to deliver content via satellite to rural, remote and low income regions in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Read More
TECNO to launch sub-$30 smartphone next yearDevice manufacturer TECNO Mobile is planning to launch a smartphone next year that will cost less than US$30, as it looks to remove the barriers to smartphone ownership in Africa. Read More
Airtel, Facebook to bring Internet.org mobile app to KenyaAirtel has announced a partnership with Facebook to offer the Internet.org app to its prepaid and post-paid customers in Kenya beginning later this week. Read More
80% interest in “right person, right message, right moment” mobile marketingNew research reveals that although 80% of respondents feel annoyed when receiving unsolicited messages, the same proportion could be won back by operators and brands if they implemented best practices to improve customer engagement. Read More
Airtel Ghana MD urges youth: ‘strive for excellence’The Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, has called on all to blaze their own trail through persistence in the pursuit of their dreams. Read More
Vodafone execs volunteer at Senchi Community LibraryThe senior management team of Vodafone Ghana took time off from their busy schedules to paint and clean up the Senchi Community Library in the Eastern Region. Read More
Airtel Zambia CSR wins awardAirtel Zambia has scooped two Zambia Public Relations Association (ZAPRA) Awards. Read More
Airtel Ghana MD: ‘Ghanaians must tell their own story’The Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, has urged Public Relations Practitioners in the country to use communications tools and channels at their disposal, to tell their own story and that of Ghana. Read More
Tigo Ghana supports Ghanaian youths with Digital Change Maker programmeTigo has launched a new social entrepreneurship programme aimed at identifying and empowering young Ghanaians with innovative digital solutions to step forward and help address some of Ghana’s most pressing needs. Read More
Lenovo completes acquisition of Motorola Mobility from GoogleLenovo and Google have announced that Lenovo’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google is complete. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
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.
COMPANY NEWSThe Business Network is the future
Hyper-connected business networks will extend business processes that used to stop at the walls of the enterprise, and will fulfill the promise of the real-time global networked economy to ...