Addressing the 68th Annual New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana on Tuesday, Mr Daniel Asare-Kyei, the Managing Director of Esoko Ghana Ltd, said the banks usually found it very difficult to assist farmers because they lacked the requisite knowledge on the farmer.
However, through mobile money, Esoko had been able to build the history of farmers and is, therefore, in a position to assist them.
Speaking on the topic: ” E-solutions and Agriculture Productivity,” Mr Asare-Kyei said to address the numerous challenges facing farmers, Esoko had been providing relevant data on market prices and weather information to farmers via SMS to help them make better decisions about their farming activities, leading to better livelihoods.
He said having access to basic information could help farmers increase their revenues.
Mr Asare-Kyei said a study conducted by New York University on Esoko’s Market Prices in Ghana, revealed an average of 10 per cent increase in revenues among participants receiving Esoko’s market prices.
He, therefore, called for the promotion of the use of mobile telephony to reach out to smallholder farmers.
He said Esoko, since its establishment, had been a fervent supporter of open data, adding that their social enterprise began by collecting data and sharing this information with farmers over SMS.
“Studies conducted on Esoko show that access to this data has helped smallholder farmers to increase their income levels,” Mr Asare-Kyei said.
The theme for the 68th Annual New Year School and Conference is “Promoting National Development through Agriculture Modernisation: The Role of Information and Communication Technology”.
It aims at creating in-depth discussions on how ICT could be integrated into agriculture to modernise the sector for sustainable national development.
It is organised by the School of Continuing and Distance Education, University of Ghana, under the auspices of MTN, Eximbank Ghana, and The Kosmos Innovation Centre.