Ghana’s Esoko, a farmer information services startup has partnered with USAID, to launch a dedicated farmer helpline in a move expected to enable farmers access the latest info on weather, seed prices, planting tips, harvest timing, disease info and marketing info directly to their mobile phones.
First launched for in Ghana, Esoko has operations in Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe and Kenya.
the new helpline will enable farmers in Ghana to call anytime and as if speaking to customer care agents, get an expert in any of the country’s 12 languages to address their emergency. The experts have been trained to give farmer reliable information on just anything to do with their trade.
Ms Mary Naah, Helpline Services Manager, said the helpline will be available Monday to Friday to anyone dialing 1900 on Vodafone, MTN and Airtel at normal rates. Ghanians will be able to access the in Dagbani, Mampruli, Twi, Kusaal, Frafra, Sissali, Wali, Ewe, Ga, Fante,Hausa and Dagaari local languages. Ghana’s Tigo and Glo networks will be added soon.
According to Mark Davies, Esoko CEO Farmer Helpline, the centre has been equipped with experts in various agricultural fields ready to help farmers via phone call or SMS. Apart from livestock the experts also cover topics on Cowpeas, Tomatoes, Yam, Maize, Rice, Soya, Sorghum, Cassava, Mango and Sheanuts.
Since 2005 when Esoko was founded, it has grown to be the top initiative delivering market information to farmers in over eight African countries and a true example of technology for development .