Increasing Rural Incomes Through Information Systems

Access to information can be a key component to increasing agricultural productivity and incomes. TechnoServe worked to introduce mobile phone-based solutions to meet demand from farmers, private sector agribusinesses as well as the development community for information and other value added services. In partnership with Esoko, Africa’s largest mobile agriculture platform with operations in 17 countries, and Mubatsiri, Zimbabwe’s Esoko reseller, and funding from the Ford Foundation, TechnoServe has set up a live platform that provides market information to farmers and allows organizations to interact and exchange information with value chain actors. At the completion of the project, it had managed to reach over 50,000 farmers with weather alerts, agronomic tips, market prices and other information. TechnoServe also helped to facilitate an agreement between Mubatsiri, Esoko and the country’s largest mobile network operator -- Econet-- to help drive Mubatsiri’s mobile agriculture business. This has allowed them to provide horticultural content for Econet’s EcoFarmer platform. Work has also gone into the development of Mubatsiri’s strategic, finance and risk management solutions, as a mobile agriculture business.