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  • on 12.09.2013
  • at 03:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Ghana text message trial offers farmers market data 0

Accra – A project to determine whether accessing customised market information as well as weekly weather forecasts through mobile phone short message service (SMS) can help farmers boost their yields and incomes is being trialled in rural Ghana.

The lack of access to information about the prices of crops in different markets hinders the ability of many African small holder farmers to negotiate for better prices, so the project hopes to give farmers more marketing options to enable them to earn more incomes from their harvests.

Nicholas Minot, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the lead organisation implementing the project, says the aim is to evaluate the impact of agricultural information delivered through mobile phones to farmers in Ghana.

“We do this by randomly selecting a group of farmers [with mobile phones] to receive information through SMS and later compare agricultural marketing outcome between these farmers and others who have not received the services,” he tells SciDev.Net.

The pilot study involving 570 smallholder farmers in Ghana’s northern regions started in November 2011 and ends by the close of 2014.

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By Samuel HinnehSciDev Net

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