Vodacom is spreading the benefits of technology across South Africa - and now, farmers can also reap the rewards of having the latest information at their fingertips. This is thanks to Connected Farmer, an innovative mobile tech solution aimed at supporting smallholder farmers into commercial agriculture.
The platform, which can be accessed from any mobile phone, links farmers and agribusinesses to potential buyers and services. This means the farmer can see at any time the current market prices for his or her products, and agribusinesses can easily see that the farmer has produce to sell.
Connected Farmer also offers information such as weather forecasts and helpful tips via SMS - so the farmers don't even need a smartphone or internet access to benefit.
The business of farming
Vodacom launched Connected Farmer alongside their partner, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German government and Manstrat Agricultural Intelligence Solutions. The launch took place on Friday, 3 February, at an agricultural summit in East London.
Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer for Vodacom Business said: 'Vodacom believes that ICT provides innovative solutions to address Africa’s societal and economic challenges. Digitising the agricultural value chain means that smallholder farmers will benefit from access to information and markets.
'Vodacom and its partners will enable this while reducing some of the risks carried by agribusinesses. Vodacom’s ICT services enable enterprises to have real time visibility of their supply chains, as well as the ability to engage and communicate with smallholders directly.'