It’s been an exciting and busy year for the GSMA mAgri team. As 2012 comes to an end, I’d like to reflect on the progress being made to harness the growth of mobile technology to support farmers across the world. We wish you all a prosperous, happy and healthy 2013 and look forward to working with you in the New Year!
Four new mAgri services developed with the support of the mFarmer initiative
The mAgri team are delighted to be working with four new Agri VAS service providers in Tanzania, Kenya, India and Mali which will benefit over 2 million small-holder farmers. Tigo in Tanzania and HandyGo in India were the first to launch their services and they have already seen demand from several thousands of customers. Airtel Kenya and Orange Mali will launch in the New Year. These services enable smallholder farmers to access market, weather and agronomy information via SMS, USSD, IVR and call centres. We’ll be sharing more information on these services in the New Year.
Research, learnings, tools & resources available to support the industry
The GSMA team alongside colleagues at ICT for Ag, e-agriculture and many others have developed a host of tools and resources to support mobile and agriculture service providers. Resources include a market entry toolkit, webinar and focus note on how to design and market Agri VAS for women smallholders, tools to support content management, and blogs sharing lessons on market information systems, weather content and user testing. Links to all these resources are available on our new mAgri website.
We also produced a robust monitoring, learning and evaluation framework that we use to analyse progress and impact across all mFarmer services. The framework is available to any interested parties who are developing their own Agri VAS.
mAgri metrics, products and services went live on the GSMA’s Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) portal. In addition to free datasets that can be downloaded and tabulated, the MDI portal features mobile agriculture products and services across the developing world.
Finally, mobile and agriculture hit the conference scene and learnings were shared at the inaugural mAgri panel seminar at Mobile World Congress, the G8 and a number of regional working groups and events.
Research and development of new innovative mobile agriculture services
There was a significant increase in the number of mobile operators, value added service providers, agriculture research and extension agencies, entrepreneurs, NGOs, donor agencies, academics and governments interested in how mobile can be used to advance agriculture development. Partnerships are being formed to utilise the assets that each organisation brings.
A host of new services are being developed that provide information services, value chain linkages and financial services. The Mobile and Development Intelligence (MDI) portal features over 60 mobile agriculture products and services across the developing world. Please get in touch to add your service to the Mobile for Development portal.
We look forward to a productive 2013!