The GSMA Development Fund’s mAgri initiative has been established to investigate the deployment of mobile solutions to serve the agriculture sector.
Our current focus of work is to engage with mobile operators and their partners to accelerate the availability of effective, sustainable and replicable Farmer Helplines. Farmer Helplines aim to provide high quality and reliable information to farmers that will enable them to make more informed decisions throughout the preparation, planting, harvesting and marketing seasons. The service establishes a two-way communication channel between farmers and agricultural experts and provides a reliable solution to the information deficit that farmers often face.
The Development Fund is currently supporting two Farmer Helpline projects:
Bharti Airtel and IFFCO Farmer Co-operative: IKSL Agri Helpline - India
IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) is a joint venture between Bharti Airtel and the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO). Farmers who purchase a Bharti Airtel “Green SIM” have access to value added services which include daily agri voice messages and an agri helpline.
The GSMA is working with Bharti Airtel and IFFCO to enhance the service and support its future growth. Key areas of focus will be content, systems and process enhancements.
Kenya Farmer’s Helpline
This project will establish a new voice-based Farmer Helpline to provide agricultural and climate information to Kenyan smallholder farmers via their mobile. The Farmer Helpline will be broadly available across all of the mobile networks within Kenya and will be set-up by an established provider.
If the results from these projects prove positive for both the mobile industry and the agricultural sector, the Development Fund aims to launch a broader mAgri programme towards the end of 2010.