EthiopianFlowerFarm8028 call-in sytem, Ethiopia’s first agricultural hotline has hit over one million registered callers making close to 6.5 million phone calls in less than a year after it was launched nationwide.

Launched in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Ethio Telecom, and the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA),8028 is used by smallholder farmers to access free information on cereal, horticulture, and pulse/oil seed crops and other agriculture-related activities according to a report by Dire Tube News.

Apart from the call-in system famers also use SMS and Interactive Voice Responses (IVR) in a move aimed at disrupting traditional agricultural extension services in the country.

Speaking to Dire Tube News, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency CEO, Ato Khalid Bomba said: “Hitting the one million caller mark in under a year is a tremendous endorsement of the 8028 system. Out of the one million registered callers, 730,000 have identified themselves as farmers. This is a major validation of the system’s potential.”

According to Ato Wondirad Mandefro, State Minister of Agriculture, the milestone signals the significance ICT is playing in the lives of the country’s smallholder farmers by giving them targeted information to up their agricultural productivity and improve their livelihoods.

With right information on weather, pricing and markets, farmers make right desicions which later influence directly their farm yields and also up their productivity. The country’s main aim is to use such inovations to up help transform agriculture and improve lives in the country.