Xam Marsé – the Communication Initiative Network in Senegal
Launched by Manobi in 2001, Xam Marsé provides market information about various products to Senegalese farmers, traders, hoteliers and others via internet and free, daily telephone SMS (short message service) messages. Meaning “know your market’ in Wolof, Xam Marsé provides SMSs with real-time information on the prices and availability of fruit, vegetables, meat and poultry, on any of Senegal’s markets. Manobi introduced the service to increase access of producers to information that would allow them to make better decisions about sales and purchases.
More than 3400 producers, middlemen, traders and hotel keepers participate in the service. Manobi's information system on fruits and vegetables accessible by GSM-Data has enabled the farmers of the Niayes - a market gardening area in the West of Senegal- to increase their sale prices negotiated from their fields or on the markets by over 50% per year. Overall…this brings an annual income of CFA F 10 billion from the 7,000 ha cultivated in the Niayes area, which can immediately be used by the beneficiaries to take care of their own social and economic development.”
The project was initiated by Manobi, a private telecommunications company, in partnership with three local fishing unions, two telecommunications companies (Alcatel and Sonatel), and the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). “Manobi's clients have increased revenue by 20% after deducting communication costs. The service was tested and launched in 2000 by a Senegal businessman Daniel Annerose, is now backed by Sonatel, the principal national telephone operator.
In conjunction with the Senegalese agribusiness companies Manobi is now developing a monitoring sytem for advertisements in the space available in these SMS so as to sponsor the service and continue making it available free of charge.
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