Airtel Kilimo project update: Insights from the midline
Airtel Kilimo is an agricultural value added service (Agri VAS) developed and managed by Airtel Kenya. The service provides customised information about crops, weather and market prices to farmers in Kenya via their mobile phones. Airtel Kilimo was launched in April 2013 as an IVR and subscription SMS service, marketed principally through regional agricultural fairs. The service moved to a USSD format with a chat function in November 2014 and had registered a total of 22,438 users by December 2014.
Most repeat users of the servicer report benefitting from the information they receive from Airtel Kilimo, including increased yield and income. Service uptake has been lower than in other mFarmer services; this seems to be due to very targeted marketing, almost exclusively at agricultural events. However, the service is still in an early stage due to many transitions between partners – once the product is finalised, larger scale marketing may be attempted.