MTN partner Esoko to launch SMS for farmers
MTN in partnership with Esoko, a technology based- marketing information system, has introduced the MTN FarmerFirst service aimed at providing agricultural information through Short Message Service (SMS) alerts to farmers.
The service seeks to provide information on farming and agricultural products through short code “1900” which also affords a unique opportunity and platform for farmers and agricultural enterprises to interact with customers.
Mrs. Cynthia Lumor, Corporate Services Executive, said at the Launch of the service at Kase near Ada on Wednesday that “Customers can request for information such as producer prices alerts, bid and offers and advisories”.
She announced that as part of MTN’s new corporate social responsibility drive of economic empowerment, the telecom gaint is sponsoring the training of 500 farmers on the use and benefit of the Esoko information products while the farmers enjoyed free subscription to Esoko market information for a year.
She noted that the project reinforced the company’s commitment of innovation and passion of providing value-added telecommunication products and services.
Mrs. Lumor said the country’s economy had for years anchored on the agricultural sector which also employed majority of the population unfortunately, access to ready and up to date information in the sector had been a major challenges.
“Other major challenges have to be with proper storage and transportation of produces to market centres as well as getting competitive prices,” she added.
Mr Lawrence Totimeh, Business Development Executive, Esoko, said 500 farmers were selected from Dangme East, Samsam-Odumase and Akuapim South for training.
He said the training was part of the efforts to ensure successful implementation of the service and also to enable them fully tap into the benefit of the service.
He explained that Esoko “is an agricultural marketing information platform created to respond to the ever increasing cellular service in Africa which was managed on the website and delivered via mobile”.
Mr Aquinas Quansah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, noted that the country’s service sector was becoming more buoyant because of the level of technology penetration so far.
“…I am not surprise that the service sector is gradually overtaking the agriculture sector in terms of contribution to our nation’s Gross Domestic Products,” he added.
He said the Government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture had embarked on a number of initiatives to address various issues affecting food production in the country.
He said one such intervention was the medium term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan to implement food and agriculture sector development policy phase II.