11.03.2014

This improved the efficiency of existing government and NGO extension systems by a factor of ten per dollar spent (Gandhi et al., 2009). Lessons: The context, choice and compatibility of tools and the communication platforms are important.

Mobile phones and using  SMS to reach farmers

The African Cashew Initiative (ACi) was an innovation on an ICT-based price and weighing system used by about 400 registered farmers only during the marketing season. Interactive training sessions were introduced during the cropping season which were complemented by radio messages and short message service (SMS). About 20,000 cashew farmers in Ghana received key messages that were developed collaboratively by farmers, extension agents and other actors, adapted to farmers’ needs and delivered as appropriate, during the year. Although there were delivery problems with the SMS and older farmers were challenged in using the cell phones, farmers were willing to pay between Euro 1.38 and 2.31 for the service because they found it valuable (Kachelriess-Mathess et al., 2013).