Characteristics of the Women's Group Have a good team work spirit They are hard working Skilled in tomato production for a specific market Have low, middle and high end mobile phones
MAIN PROBLEM The farmers were engaged in a specific business model for a defined market today, the contract has ended and the economic environment has changed
Two Options... Option A???Option B???
Way Forward These women farmers need to develop skills towards a broader economic context, in particular, there is need for them to: - –Rethink the business plan –Think about product diversification –Have a market analysis; and understand the market –Start thinking about effective post harvest mechanisms
TASK What is the best way to get solutions to their problem with a bias to usage of a mobile phone technology???
First and foremost... They need skills outside their production skills –Negotiation, proposal writing, Training –Market analysis –Climate forecasts –Functions of a mobile phone (low, middle and high end) Money for skill building –Start from salvaging the immediate rot Obtain the seeds, sun dry them and sell them off to earn income. Excess seeds can be stored in ash for future sale Sun dry the tomatoes and sell them to the South African Market Rooting fruit pulp be sold off to chicken or pig farmers Consider batter trade –Look for willing partners –Obtain negotiation skills New sources of income
Solutions They need new sources of income Use online search engines (google, infoseek, ask jeeves, etc) to: - –Look for donors online, contact them and commence discussions –Obtain information for a fee in tomato growing and various other products; thereby becoming village info points –Look for market within and out of Zimbabwe. Get in touch and commence discussions –Look for information on other products and engage in them –Download songs and sell to the youth, pass on via blue tooth
...solutions Engaging in M Learning –Develop a web presence by taking advantage of the existing free platforms like word press, blogger, etc. Add content about their project –Develop training and information skits for tomato growing and other products. They upload them on their web platform. They then train other farmers for a fee: - Using the mobile phones using s Using customized times for the trainees using chat rooms like Skype, yahoo, etc
...solutions Use of Multi Media Messaging –Develop a database of common diseases and pests affecting the crops and livestock in their area. Upload it on their web platform. Attach avoidance and management solutions. Use this as a consultancy base for a fee. Either: - They send the distressed farmer an SMS They physically visit the distressed farmer
...solutions Use of Instant Mobile Messaging & SMS usage –Get farmers to subscribe afore to relevant SMS categories periodically. These are charged per batch e.g. Football News updates for desired matches Specific crop/livestock information Government information affecting agriculture
In Conclusion It is important for these farmers to: - –Draw from the lessons learnt –Continue to practise effective team work –Learn the art of money savings and appropriate investment