The annual ICT4D Conferences have proven to be an invaluable opportunity for NGOs, private sector organizations, universities, governmental agencies and foundations to share their experience in using ICT to increase the impact of development programs and to learn from each other. In 2016, 750 individuals from 76 countries and 320 private sector and public sector and civil society explored the ways to harness the full power of digital solutions to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our thanks to Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iMerit Technology Services, Inmarsat, IS Solutions, Making All Voices Count, Mercy Corps, Microsoft, NetHope, Oxfam, Pandexio, Qualcom Wireless Reach, RTI International, SimbaNet and World Vision for making that possible.
Farmerline, a social enterprise dedicated to improving the livelihood of farmers, has found strength in empowering farmers with information products providing ROI for the farmers. These empowered farmers become less risky as an investment themselves.
Farmerline’s climate-smart agronomic information product delivers good agricultural practices, weather reports, and market information systems for nine crops to farmers in order to increase their profits and make farming practices more sustainable. Created in partnership with leading socially minded meteorological technology companies and agricultural experts, the products are currently implemented in seven local Ghanaian languages. Fish farmers in Ghana saw almost 50% increase in profits over one season of utilizing these information products. Farmerline closes the information gap between farmers and the world market, while farmers pay as little as $0.09/week.
Farmerline also has a powerful android app-based data collection tool that covers many aspects of farmer support from basic farmer data collection to developing relationships with trading partners, through certification procedures, supply chain management, cataloguing and inventory. This app works with the content services to provide support to every level of farming infrastructure across West Africa.
By discussing this technology, these experiences, and asking what parts of the model are transferrable, we can approach what needs to be reimagined across sectors.