The Use of Mobile Phones for
Communication with the Grassroots
Farmers on Farm Management and
Marketing Techniques
Present...
Us & our history with mobiles
Catherine: a retired agric extension worker (worked with the farmers for
25 years), currentl...
How capacity evolves
1st Educate them on how to receive text
messages related specifically to the needs
they expressed: e....
Clear value for grassroots farmers:
• Tonnage has increased
• Middle men are no longer coming since the
farmers are commun...
Challenges & our insights
• Electricity – some of the zones do not have
electricity and farmers go to nearby villages to c...
Concluding recommendations
1. Do a feasibility studies to come out with their real and
urgent problems, only from there yo...
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The Use of Mobile Phones for Communication with the Grassroots Farmers on Farm Management and Marketing Techniques

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Presentation by Mrs Mojoko Molua Catherine, President – Walana Wa Makwasi Women CIG - Cameroon
Session: Capacity Development, Grassroots Organisations, and ICTs in Agriculture
on 6 Nov 2013
ICT4AG, Kigali, Rwanda

Published in: Business, Technology
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The Use of Mobile Phones for Communication with the Grassroots Farmers on Farm Management and Marketing Techniques

  1. 1. The Use of Mobile Phones for Communication with the Grassroots Farmers on Farm Management and Marketing Techniques Presented by: Mrs MOJOKO MOLUA CATHERINE President – Walana Wa Makwasi Women CIG - Cameroon
  2. 2. Us & our history with mobiles Catherine: a retired agric extension worker (worked with the farmers for 25 years), currently work with 4,000 farmers in our zone - I know their problems, we have a relationship built on trust Dec 2006 – climate change induced disease breakout (Ibo coco) 2007: Youth had an idea to work with sending messages, ignored the idea, other priorities 2009: • Coco farmers complained about their prices and the coco dealers exploiting them • The same youth came again to remind us on the use of mobiles, to also inform farmers of prices before they trade with buyers. • We bought the youth’s idea 2010: • we started with feasibility studies, discovered 75% out of 100 farmers already have a mobile phone, use it to call. • Started capacity building: training farmers to send & receive texts
  3. 3. How capacity evolves 1st Educate them on how to receive text messages related specifically to the needs they expressed: e.g. being cheated on market prices, availability of healthy planting materials in the nearby public sector extension office 2nd Farmers start replying to the messages 3rd Now if they don’t receive messages from us, they send us messages to ask us what is happening! For women that are not well educated, the children send the messages or read them. Other members from the group also help illiterate women to read the messages
  4. 4. Clear value for grassroots farmers: • Tonnage has increased • Middle men are no longer coming since the farmers are communicating directly with their potential buyers. • Reduced unemployment and poverty for the youth: Many youths in the rural areas are now engaging in agriculture because they know they will be able to sell their products • Youth can use the mobile phones more than the illiterate farmers, they help to teach the illiterate farmers!
  5. 5. Challenges & our insights • Electricity – some of the zones do not have electricity and farmers go to nearby villages to charge their phones  Recommend Tecno phones: they will work for 1 week once charged! • Network accessibility – network is spotted in some villages  Contact Orange & MTN agencies and they put up antennas! They are keen to serve rural areas where farmers make productive use of phones! • Illiteracy among women  create more farming groups for individual women and youths to be supported by their peers, groups are essential
  6. 6. Concluding recommendations 1. Do a feasibility studies to come out with their real and urgent problems, only from there you can start. Without the feasibility study you won’t know where to start and you won’t achieve their goals 2. Close, cordial and respectful relationships with individual farmers is key – they must trust you talk with them one on one, close contact with them in their fields, have long-term relationships We call on other organisations to emulate these experiences so we can strengthen grassroots farmers and eradicate poverty
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