News : Esoko Ghana Sets up Information Platform for Farmers
Accra, Ghana, Jan 23, 2017 -- A private technology company, Esoko Ghana Limited, has set up a platform that provides farmers with relevant and timeous information regarding their farming activities.
It seeks to empower farmers and the rural folk with information on better farming practices.
The farmers received information on post-harvest management, planting and sowing, seed varieties, fertiliser application, disease and pest control, weather forecast and commodity prices.
Currently, the company, which has branches in five other African countries, has platforms such as the Farmer Helpline and the Vodafone Farmer Club.
Why the platform?
Speaking on the topic, "E-Solution and agricultural productivity" at the just-ended 68th New Year School and Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon, the Managing Director of Esoko Ghana Ltd, Mr Daniel Asare-Kyei, explained that the platform became necessary considering the fact that there was one agriculture extension officer to over 3,000 farmers.
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"So, if you are a farmer living somewhere in the north, chances are that you are likely never to meet an extension officer. So, Esoko makes it easier for the farmer to have access to information on his farming activities," he explained.
Mr Asare-Kyei said in 2014, the company launched a platform called the ‘Farmer Helpline", where a farmer could call to get information on a wide range of issues.
"So, if you are a farmer and you want to know something about agriculture, all you need to do is to dial our helpline 1900 and our experts will help you with information on how to go about your agricultural activities," he told the gathering.
Mr Asare-Kyei said since the introduction of the platform, more than 104,000 calls had been received at the call centre with over 800 calls a day from all over the country.
He said the frequency of the calls and the areas or issues on which the farmers sought information were indication that there existed a wide gap on information for farmers, which Esoko aimed to fill.
Vodafone Farmers’ Club
Mr Asare-Kyei said another platform where the company was providing vital information for farmers was the Vodafone Farmers’ Club, where farmers were encouraged to sign up to get tailored information to help increase productivity.
He said with the services provided by Esoko, farmers, with the power of the mobile phone, could now decide where to sell his or her farm produce without being cheated.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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