The service dubbed: “Enhancing Agricultural Development in Ghana through the Practical and Effective Utilisation of Mobile Telephony Technology”, seeks to provide farmers with useful and timely information on agricultural extension and microfinance services.
It would also offer farmers the opportunity to make phone calls at a discount of 90 per cent amongst themselves and a discount of 50 per cent of call outside the user group.
Nii Amasah Namoale, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in Charge of Fisheries, launched the service at Asutsure in the Dangbe West District in Greater Accra Region.
He said the capacity to collate, analyze, manage and access information, contributed to increase productivity as well as reduction of poverty in the rural areas.
Nii Namoale said, for the nation to harness its agricultural potentials, farmers needed to have access to various support programmes and services including farm implements, agro chemicals, improved seeds, credit and technology.
Mr Paul Ryan, External Affairs Director of Vodafone Ghana noted that, the Agro Mobile Pack would provide voice and data services to friends from other farming communities.
“…farmers and fishermen would be able to check the weather for their respective zones to enhance their activities”.
“This country produces a variety of crops in various climatic zones ranging from dry savannah to wet forest…they no more have to dispose of agricultural produce without having good market information or a means of dealing with a glut,” Mr Ryan noted.
“In the 21st Century, it is unpardonable that an important sector in our economy such as agriculture should suffer huge losses due to lack of information sharing, which is vital to redistributing farm produce, to areas where they are most needed,” he said.
Mr Ryan said, management of Vodafone deemed it appropriate to come out with such a service because the agric sector served as the backbone of the nation’s economy and employed more than half of the population.
He said, Vodafone would continue to invest in areas that would enhance the quality of life of various communities.
Mr John Awuku Dziwornu, Secretary of GNAFF, said the Agro Mobile service was part of the Association’s long strategic plan launched in 2005 to help GNAFF redefine its role in the nation’s economic development.
He said the plan, which was under the theme: “Global Partnership for Accelerated Agriculture and Rural Development”, identified Information and Communication Management Project to support agriculture transformation by providing advisory and information service to farmers.
Mr Dziwornu said, the service would strengthen the productive and organisational capacities through training, technology transfer and market services.
“The service would broaden our scope of network among key stakeholders along the agriculture value chain. The association has now become part of countries like, Kenya, Uganda, Mali, Senegal, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Tanzania where farmer organisations have partnered stakeholders to reduce the challenges confronting their members,” he said.