N'Kalô : Un bon prix au bon moment

Competition Finalist

This entry has been selected as a finalist in the
The Power of Small: Entrepreneurs Strengthening Local Economies competition.


This innovation also has a Project Page where you can read more about its latest progress.
Go to Project: N'Kalô : Un bon prix au bon moment.

N'Kalô is a commercial information service for small enterprises donating its services for sales strategies in a fluctuating price context. For more information visit www.anacarde.com.

About You

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About You

First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization

Organization Name


Organization Website

Organization Country

France, XX, lyon

Country where this project is creating social impact

Ivory Coast, KOR

Age of Innovator


Gender of Innovator


Is your organization a

Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Name Your Entry

N'Kalô : Un bon prix au bon moment

Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Growth (your pilot is up and running, and starting to expand)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for 1‐5 years

The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?

Small farm producers of West Africa are facing important risks when selling their products because of the growing volatility of the prices on the local and global markets. The access to reliable and independent information is problematical as regards to the weak infrastructures,the illiteracy, and the lack of appropriate technical services. Therefore, the fluctuation of the prices has negative consequences on the producers'income what limit their investment capacity. For instance in the Ivory Coast, more than 250 000 producers make a living from the culture of the cashew nut which sees its price fluctuate significantly on the global market. The producers do not have a real marketing strategy in order to stabilize their incomes or their markets in the current context of growing instability.

The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!

N’Kalô offers a service of information and advice to the producers on their marketing strategy. We realize analysis of African and global food markets. This analysis is independent, fast, regular and developed in partnership with professionals from the sector (www.oda-agri.fr). We then give marketing advices in order to stabilize the producers’ incomes. To do so, we take advantage of the wireless and mobile technologies to inform our producers-customers. They receive text messages each week providing them with appropriate advices according to their area. We also developed a voice responder and server in local languages to provide oral information. Finally, we organize trainings for the producers with role-playing, exchanges between producers, and simulations of their marketing strategy.
The solution offered is therefore based on three main ideas: an appropriate technology, a value-added information, a tried and tested pedagogy.

The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

The N’Kalô service means “I know about” in the dyula language (the language of small retailers in West Africa).
Our service includes 5 major interrelated activities:
- The gathering of information: information is regularly collected at the local, national and international level according to the standards developed by our team.
- The market analysis is realized by a local team based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The collected information is processed in order to produce a regular analysis as well as selling advice.
- The information: we distribute simple, constant, and understandable information. This information is adapted to our customers and broadcasted on different supports (text messages, rural radios, reports, voice server…)
- The training: we offer trainings to the farm producers and farmer leaders to improve their understanding of the market and their ability to use the market information to develop marketing strategies.
- The personalized advice: we advice the producers on the analysis understanding and the decision process thanks to our fieldworkers.
The major activities are detailed on our website: www.anacarde.com

The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?

Our partners are:
Offre et Demande Agricole (Food Supply and Demand): a leader company in Europe in the field of food markets analysis, cooperation in terms of analysis and training of our European and African analysts.
The Telecom Companies: we have partnerships with private telecommunications companies (sending of text messages).
Our competitors generally offer solutions which are too expensive in terms of technology (need of specific terminals and very little adapted to the rural areas or to the producers way of life) or provide with raw information without additional value (raw information gathered and transmitted as such).
Our service differs from others by its low tech approach to improve the access to the information and by its strong knowledge of food markets.

Social Impact

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What solution(s) does your initiative address to help emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses grow and thrive in underserved communities? (select all applicable)

Access to supply chains, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Our project reached 9000 producers in its pilot phase, and each of them obtained an increase of its earnings comprised between 25 and 150 Euros a year. To sell at the right price at the right moment: that is the advice and the added-value of N'kâlo Consulting, who sent more than 400 000 informative text messages. That is why we believe our project can enable the producers to seize the best economic opportunities. This service is also a tool enabling a major sustainability and transparency in the supply channels: the information especially processed to adapt the producers’ reality is a proof of transparency for the global market.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

We believe we will be reaching 12 000 producers in 2012, 20 000 in 2013 and 50 000 in 2004. To increase our impact we would also like to extend our service to other type of farming productions as to offer a more global advice to small farmers. Moreover, we are planning on the implementation of a low price standing charge to secure the financing of our service.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

The major obstacles are:
- The transmission of market analysis skills within the N’Kalô local team.
- The reliability of the technologies used and the quality of the telecommunications signals.
- The creation of intermediaries to the service and the associated marketing.
- The strengthening of our presence by the producers’ side to ensure a real trust in the service and to stimulate collective marketing strategies.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Objectifs à 6 mois : Intégrer 20 000 producteurs au Service N'kalô, dont 4000 femmes

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone

Task 1

Launch a marketing campaign

Task 2

Strenthen local market analysis team, marketing and animation of N'Kalô

Task 3

Grow client base an integrate them in the SMS database

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Développer le service sur d'autres filières et pays

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone

Task 1

Développer le système d'analyse de 2 nouvelles filières stratégiques (maïs, karité) touchant particulièrement les femmes rurales

Task 2

Identifier des partenaires dans les pays de la sous région (Mali, Burkina Faso, Sénégal)

Task 3

Mettre en place un pilote par pays / par nouvelle filière / mesurer les impacts / ajuster

Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.

We have been working for more than 10 years in the support to small farm producers in Africa. Their unique concern was systematically “the price”. Public regulation price systems do not exist anymore; the local and global markets are facing a growing volatility of prices of various origins (emergent markets, climate change, global changes of the supply and demand)… We were therefore confused about the type of tools we could offer to the producers. The private systems of fixed prices such as fair trade are currently limited and reach a little proportion of the producers. We had to find a global solution. That is why we worked with ODA, a company specialized in these services, and we then developed this pilot project of information and consulting. Today, we want to take part in the development of this type of services in Africa by making easier the implantation of the service as well as its continuous improvement, in order to reach more producers.


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Tell us about your partnerships

For the setting up of the pilot project we received a funding from the European Union. Today, the AFD (French Agency for the Development) finance the extension phase of our project.
Our technical partners are:
- ODA (www.oda-agri.fr), a company specialized in analysis which is helping us to develop the markets analysis.
- ORANGE Telecom supports us on various technical aspects.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Nous souhaitons de l'aide/ des conseils :
- comment transformer notre projet en 'social-business' ?
- comment améliorer l'infrastructure technique d'envoi des SMS et mettre en place un service USSD multi-opérateur ?
Nous souhaitons des soutiens financiers :
- pour financer le développement du service
- pour investir dans de nouvelles filières (recherche et développement)

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