Tanzania: Farmers to Access Information Through Mobile Phones

Telecoms

Farmers across the country will through mobile phones access up-to-date market information to help them fetch premium prices. Industry, Trade and Marketing Deputy Permanent Secretary Dr Shaban Mwinjaka said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that farmers have bight future through improved returns on agricultural activities.

"The programme will significantly impact on agricultural productivity, increase household incomes and improve the livelihoods of the communities," he said. The project already implemented in Shinyanga Region as a pilot project is funded by SEACOM and Dar es Salaam-based application services provider NURU Infocomm.

The region has for a long time faced by challenges of land and environmental degradation leading to poor agricultural productivity and poverty. Dr Mwinjaka said, "The mobile technology will increase farmers' bargaining power in both the local and foreign markets in the neighboring countries--Kenya, Uganda and Zambia-that have expressed interests to adopt the programme."

Apart from linking farmers to potential markets through short messages, the project will also provide information on weather patterns and availability of inputs.

SEACOM Tanzania Limited Managing Director Anna Kahama-Rupia said her firm will assist in training of farmers participating in the pilot project in Shinyanga region ahead of a wider rollout across the country.