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News : Esoko Outdoors Helpline for Ghanaian Farmers
Feb 21, 2014 -- Esoko Ghana, a private organisation, set up to drive social and economic impact among rural farmers through the innovative use of technology, has launched Africa's first helpline for farmers in the country.
Available to anyone dialing 1900, a group of agricultural experts had been made available to answer whatever questions that a caller might pose, ranging from the weather prediction to issues relating to best farming practices, prices of food items on the market, among others.
Speaking during the launch of the helpline, Ms Mary Naah, Helpline Services Manager, said the call centre was available in 12 local languages, namely: Dagbani, Mampruli, Twi, Kusaal, Frafra, Sissali, Wali, Ewe, Ga, Fante,Hausa and Dagaari.
She said the Esoko Ghana farmersâ€™ helpline 1900 was available on Vodafone, MTN and Airtel, at a regular call rate, adding that Tigo and Glo networks would be added soon.
She said the centre which operated from Mondays to Fridays between 8am to 5pm, had been equipped with people with agricultural background, in order to give expert advice to farmers who call.
She noted that there had been a lot of innovations in farming across the globe, and that the helpline services were to enable the farmers understand and make use of such best farming practices.
She bemoaned the lack of enough extension officers in farming communities adding that the work of Esoko call centre was to complement the efforts of such extension officers.
She intimated that Esoko Ghana had also put in place the needed measures to monitor the impact of the call centre's work on the farmers who patronize it.
"Esoko is an example of how the public sector can participate and encourage private sector innovation and investment to drive food security and improve livelihoods".
He said it was also an example of how Ghanaian software developers could build world class technology that could be used throughout the continent of Africa.
He intimated that it was also established to provide solutions which were needed in the agri-business industry in Africa, and also introduce technology that was appropriate and relevant to the clients.
Mr Jim Beaver, Mission Director, USAID Ghana, which is a partner of Esoko Ghana, expressed his appreciation to the company for the initiative, as it would go a long way to assist farmers in the country improve on their farming knowledge.
Esoko is currently operating in Ghana, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe and recently in Kenya.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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More Editorial From Esoko
Esoko is an agricultural profiling and messaging service. It is a response to the explosive growth of cellular services in Africa.
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014