Presentation on theme: "Rural Development Briefing in East Africa on ACP-EU Development Issues on Improving Investments and Stimulating Agricultural Growth to Achieve Food Security."— Presentation transcript:
Rural Development Briefing in East Africa on ACP-EU Development Issues on Improving Investments and Stimulating Agricultural Growth to Achieve Food Security in East Africa; Linking Small-holder Farmers to Local and Regional Markets in Staple Foods 12 – 13 November 2010 Entebbe, UGANDA Ms. Fostina Mani, Vice Chair & Kenya Director – Eastern Africa Grain Council Fostering the Adoption of Regional Agricultural Market Information Tools and Mobile Technologies by Smallholder Farmers in Regional Trade and Agro- processing
Presentation Outline Overview of existing Agricultural MIS Profile of Agricultural MIS Overview of Existing Market Information Requirements Gaps Solutions / Opportunities Way Forward
Overview Existing Agricultural MIS Regional MIS Assessment Study & EAGC Regional MIS Working Group Regional MISs COMESA/ACTESA – FAMIS EAGC – RATIN Kenya: Ministry of Agriculture, KACE, Uganda Farm-Grain, FIT Uganda, CIAT Tanzania Ministry of Agriculture Market Database & Livestock Market Information Systems Rwanda Ministry of Agriculture eSOKO Malawi ACE, MACE Zambia Zambia National Farmers Association’s MIS, AMIS, SHEMP
Overview of Existing Agricultural MIS Price collection and dissemination. SMS facility where farmers can sent an SMS and get information on commodity prices. Web-based application. Provide newsletters both eNewsletters and hardcopies. Most of the MIS relay on Minister of Agriculture price data. Mostly lacking the capability of Micro Sites facility. Access is mostly via computers, or SMS text.
The Accurate Market Information Systems There is a vibrant market BUT Verbal – phone mostly mobile Mind – Information database There is a wealth of information from Grain Traders, Smallholder Farmers and Regional MIS. Unfortunately the convergence of the three has been very poor especially considering 90% of the cross border traders and producers are probably not using the existing MIS. The end result is the information provided by MIS is today considered as News, a polite term for old information
So What Is The Problem? Gaps Smallholder Farmers Agricultural MISs are mostly Web-based so you need access to a computer, this is not practical for Smallholder rural farmers. Getting price information via SMS is very expensive, costing about 5 times the regular price so it is easier to just talk. The Agricultural MIS have been developed from an academic platform, NOT necessarily from the perspective of the farmer. Farmers may need more additional information beyond the price. Trader / Private Sector Commodity prices vary several times a day, unfortunately the data collection occurs ones a day, more often than not we are reporting yesterdays prices. Agricultural MIS are not providing the necessary information for private sector to make informed business discussion Convergence of Farmers, Traders, MOAs, & MIS providers.
Opportunities African Youth Mobile phones are accessible in most rural parts. Africa is endowed with a lot of talent which is developing mobile technology that is solving Africa’s agricultural problems. Agricultural MIS need to be moved to Micro-site that are accessible on the most inexpensive mobile phones. Take advantage of Africa’s emerging talent in the development of relevant Mobile Applications tools that are farmer relevant. Enhance the role of Verbal Communication Africa conversation is very interactive and involves a lot of hand movement, could this be reason why Ag MIS are not enjoying as much adoption as verbal communication. We need to include Web-Cam especially since each mobile hand set seems to have a camera. Can we have toll free (no charge) Farmer Friendly Call Centres Establish Information Hub, through our various Farmers and Women Network, where within the networks people are sharing information and innovation.
Opportunities cont… Indigenous Knowledge Embrace the role of farmers, brokers, informal trades and suppliers as data collection agents and monitors, Development of ICTs must be Bottom-Up NOT Up-Down Earnest existing innovativeness and creativity while taking advantage of the huge ideal youth labor. Every year in Kenya 500,000 youth graduate from high school and immediately study ICT packages, only to sit ideal with nothing to do. Extent eLearning facilities from university to farmer friendly vernacular mobile based platforms, so creating the jobs for our youth Relevant ICT Tools Smallholder farmers will probably never need Microsoft Suite can we use tools that are necessary and relevant such as Skype and MSN messager
Opportunities cont… Commodity Exchange The highest number of Stock Exchange investors are not today’s young executive but or parents who belonged to Cooperative In Kenya Stock Prices are interactive online electronic boards, and yet our parents are able to use mobile phones, and electronic boards to monitor the value of shares Ag-MIS must strategically align themselves to be the ideal fit in providing accurate online information especially for Agricultural Commodity Exchange Warehouse Receipt Systems Wireless technology is providing web-based information for WRS Systems GIS mapping for rural warehouse is becoming a must, so Ag-MIS must strategically position themselves to be relevant Bulking Centers Millers and Trade are happy to come for grain if they know the location, grade and quality M-Pesa provides an excellent opportunity to Smallholder farmers to either walk around with money on their phones, or quickly transfer it to the bank accounts. Regional Trade, eCommerce Trade Facebook (esp. Mobile) is bringing people together to do business, Kenya is the 3 th highest user in Africa, Twitter 2 nd highest user in Africa. International Travel Cards are making eBusiness the norm, and in the future will eliminate the use of Bank Transfers
Way Forward- Partnerships, Partnerships, Partnerships Regional MIS Working Group FAMIS – Review to ensure it works for Farmers, Women and Youth in ensuring accurate and reliable price and market informationFAMIS – Review to ensure it works for Farmers, Women and Youth in ensuring accurate and reliable price and market information Aggressive efforts to promote eCommerce and Export Markets under Farmer Association, Trader Association and Export Promotion Council. Link Ministries of Agriculture and Gender in enhancing Agri- business as priority areas. Regional Information Hubs Linking Women Trades to do cross border trade,Linking Women Trades to do cross border trade, Aggressive recruitment of women in the informal trade to move grain from surplus areas to deficit areas.Aggressive recruitment of women in the informal trade to move grain from surplus areas to deficit areas. Women FarmersWomen Farmers Promotion of High Value CropsPromotion of High Value Crops Seed MultiplicationSeed Multiplication Women Friendly financial servicesWomen Friendly financial services Youth Agri-business VenturesYouth Agri-business Ventures Affordable Warehouse / Bulking CentersAffordable Warehouse / Bulking Centers Food Transportation businessFood Transportation business WASAA Women In Agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa Regional MIS Partnership Development Lead RATIN – Current under review to accommodate informal traders, brokers, etcRATIN – Current under review to accommodate informal traders, brokers, etc Market information that will assist farmers, traders, and Millers make informed business decisionMarket information that will assist farmers, traders, and Millers make informed business decision Working with various research institution to find appropriate tools, methodology on accurate market data,Working with various research institution to find appropriate tools, methodology on accurate market data, Structured Trading Systems Warehouse Receipt Systems, Commodity Exchange Promotion of EAC standards and harmonization.Promotion of EAC standards and harmonization. Fostina Solutions “Mothers of Africa Mobile Soko” Simplified and relevant trainingSimplified and relevant training Financial Literacy, Marketing,Financial Literacy, Marketing, Identification of additional Markets using mobile technologyIdentification of additional Markets using mobile technology Use idle Youth ICTs Skills and Talent to get Farmers to benefit from educating their children.Use idle Youth ICTs Skills and Talent to get Farmers to benefit from educating their children.
So WSAFC Click!!!! So W ho S ays A F armer C annot Click!!!! Alice (80 yrs) is a Member of the Sisya Mbee Women’s Group whom Ukamba School of Business who is part of the “Mothers of Africa Mobile Soko” on fostering the adoption of Agricultural Market Information Systems among smallholder farmers. Her grandson a recent high school graduate was shocked see his grandmother coming out of a class, and demanded demonstration that she could actually switch on a computer, identify the Various Icons and the Web- Cam, especially considering he did not know how to use a computer.