Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?
CTA top 20 applications benefitting small-scale farmers
Winner, World Bank and InfoDev mAgri Challenge
Winner, Social App of the year, Top App Award
Winner, World Summit Youth Award
Indigo Trust Grant Award
Winner, US Department of State Apps4Africa Climate Change Competition
Apps4Africa Climate Change Competition
Tell us about your partnerships
The first points of contact are the national and international agencies, NGOs, MoFA, and agricultural departments. These act as intermediaries between the Farmerline platform and the smallholder farmers in order to facilitate farmer subscription. Farmerline has partnered MEDA, Indigo Trust, AFRINIC and AQUAFISH to train small-scale farmers through face-to-face meetings and presentations that outline the benefits of our service. Through these partnerships, Farmerline sends weekly reminders to over 2,000 farmers in Ghana on new farming techniques, market access, finances and weather forecast which are received as phone calls in their own local language. TAHMO is also another partner of Farmerline for a two-year project to set up a water and weather monitoring system in Ghana’s cocoa region. In line with our vision to expand across Africa, Farmerline is in strategic talks with organizations that particularly focus on agricultural development across Africa. Some of our discussions are in advanced stages and we looking to engage in further partnerships.
Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?
Farmer availability and rural mobile connectivity
While mobile service coverage has exploded across African countries, rural farmers are often still on the edges of reliable service, and may not even have reliable electricity for keeping their phone charged. Network saturation is also a common issue on the leading network in Ghana, where a phone number must be dialed several times before actually connecting. Finally, on the human design side, it must be recognized that farmers are hard-working, busy people: they are not always free. To improve delivery in these conditions, we created intelligent retry patterns for outgoing messages, which optimize the chance of connecting even if the farmers phone is unavailable on the first try. We also allow farmers to choose the best time of day to receive calls.
About 75% of farmers in Africa own a mobile phone. This number makes a great case for engaging farmers through the mobile phone. We reach the rest of the farming population without mobile phones by training lead farmers in their communities to deliver information to them.
How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?
By 2050, the projected 9.2 billion world population will require a 70% increase in food production. Engaging and employing youth in agriculture is vital in addressing the challenge of food security. Farmerline’s services provide financial assistance, weather forecast, new and improved farming techniques and market access that help farmers to create thriving businesses and create job opportunities for youth. Young people in Ghana have observed how Farmerline’s services have positively impacted local farmers. The success of these local farms has helped many young people to embrace agriculture as a sustainable wealth-creation enterprise. Farmerline encourages young people to start their own businesses in the agricultural sector. As a part of Farmerline’s growth and competitive strategy, we also build partnerships that allow young people to build services on our platform, deliver tailored solutions to help farmers, and create jobs. Lastly, Farmerline’s free empowerment forums are building a network of young entrepreneurs. This platform also helps youth to collaborate and create jobs for themselves and others.
Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution
Job Creation, Entrepreneurship, Training/Skill Development, Financing, Rural Economies.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Create New Industries: recognize opportunities in the marketplace to build new professions or new markets
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.
Job creation lacks adequate coordination between the government, private sector and development organizations