With the introduction of Esoko to the farmers of Malawi, comes a great profit thanks to this project which was started in 2011.
Esoko with “E” standing for electronic and soko fro market was started I order to equip farmers who have little bargaining power, with a tool that provides them with current market information.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is still fascinated by farmers in Lilongwe whose lives changed completely when they embraced modern cellular communication technology.
Usaid has worked with several organizations including Umodzi Consulting and Esoko Networks through markets linkages project which has helped farmers to access information on how and where they can sell their farm products at competitive prices.
One farmer called Raboin described Esoko as a tool that costs relatively little. He said that it adds substantial value to the organizations and programmes in which it is well utilized as with Esoko, farmers can send information to thousands of people with just the push of a button.
“Price information helps farmers to make informed decisions about where, how much and when to sell their agricultural produce and by allowing farmers to receive information, Esoko has helped to increase market transparency,” he said.
Raboin said Esoko is makes certain that access price information for agricultural commodities in a timely manner has brought the difference between prices that bring about poverty and a price that can lift someone out of it.
Esoko information technology manager Peter Pemba said the need for timely and accurate information was what compelled Agriculture Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) to use Esoko in April 2011.