Vodafone has also announced that it will launch its Farmers’ Club initiative in Kenya and Tanzania – over the coming year. The Vodafone Farmers’ Club is a social business model which offers a range of mobile services to help farmers boost productivity.
It was first launched in Turkey in 2009 where around 25 per cent of the Turkish population work in the agriculture sector. The Farmers’ Club programme has benefitted 1.2 million farmers, helping them to enhance crop yields and increase farm gate incomes.
Vodafone Group Regional Chief Executive for the Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific region Serpil Timuray, said specific Farmers’ Club services offered in each country will vary but will include information services, virtual marketplaces in which farmers can sell their produce and mobile money financial services and products.
“One-third of humanity relies on food grown by 500 million smallholder farmers with less than two hectares of land. Mobile technology has a critically important role to play in increasing agricultural resilience and enhancing quality of life for some of the poorest people on earth. Our experience in Turkey has demonstrated how mobile services can transform farmers’ ability to increase crop yields, improve efficiency and grow farm gate incomes,” Timuray said.
“As the global population continues to expand, farmers have an urgent need to produce ever-increasing amounts of food without destroying habitats or depleting resources in a way which is unsustainable. Smart and forward-looking initiatives such as the Vodafone Farmers’ Club concept can make a real difference in addressing the global challenge of food production and security,” she added.