Tanzania gets mobile phone-based agricultural service

Tanzania Mobile Agriculture DIVatUSAID FlickrM-Kilimo is expected to benefit more than 90,000 livestock keepers, crop farmers and fishermen. (Image source: DIVatUSAID/Flickr)A new mobile phone-based service has been launched in Tanzania to provide agricultural information to farmers

The M-Kilimo platform is an innovative service that gives farmers access to markets for agricultural produce. Once registered on the M-Kilimo platform, farmers and buyers can meet online and do business.

M-Kilimo also enables access to agricultural extension officers. Through the service, farmers can share information with extension officers on various issues affecting their farming. Farmers can receive alert and information on disease outbreaks, new seeds and weather reports through their phones.

More than 90,000 livestock keepers, crop farmers and fishermen are expected to benefit from this service.

The platform was launched by the Economic and Social Research Foundation in collaboration with the government of Tanzania and the United Nations Development Program.

M-Kilimo was developed after studies conducted in rural Tanzania indicated the value of mobile devices in passing agricultural information. In regions of rural Tanzania, such as Mbeya, agriculture contributes more than 40 per cent to the regional economy and employs at least 80 per cent of the population.

Mwangi Mumero

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