China helps WFP improve mobile app for Zambian farmers

The enhanced app will allow farmers to sell their crops and access market information from the safety of their homes. (Image source: Adobe Stock)The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution from China this week, through a South-South and Triangular cooperation Covid opportunity fund, which will be used to enhance user experience of the Virtual Farmers Market app, locally known as Maano

The mobile-based e-commerce app, which virtually links farmers to buyers, will be enhanced to provide smallholder farmers with vital agriculture support and rural e-commerce services, such as commodity transportation, insurance and market information.

In Zambia, WFP is working with the government to help over 1,00,000 farmers tap into larger and more diverse markets, ensuring local produce reaches consumers and promoting access to nutritious food in a sustainable manner. By the end of 2021, WFP aims to bring around 5,000 farmers onboard to the Virtual Farmers Market mobile-based e-commerce.

Jayoung Lee, WFP deputy country director, said, “Digital agricultural technologies like Maano are crucial for reducing losses associated with inefficient market systems, resulting in improved incomes for smallholder farmers,” he added.

South-South cooperation refers to the technical cooperation among developing countries in the Global South. It is a tool used by states, international organisations, academics, civil society and the private sector to collaborate and share knowledge, skills and successful initiatives in specific areas such as agricultural development, human rights, urbanisation, health, climate change etc.

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