Esoko is the prime partner for Open Markets and provides the channel for distribution of information to farmers, including market prices, weather alerts, crop advisories. www.esoko.com
New York University’s Center for Technology and Economic Development program is partnering with OpenMarkets on a study of 1,200 farmers in Volta region of Ghana to measure impact of using mobile-based SMS price alerts. This program will last 3 years (into 2014), while NYU specifically measures impact on farm-gate prices and livelihoods (household assets and children in school), farmer marketing behavior (search behavior, bargaining power and market contracts) as well as the trust of other market players, especially traders.
The International Food and Policy Research Institute is partnering with OpenMarkets to study 1,000 households in Northern Ghana for impacts on livelihoods when using mobile market information services. The mobile services will be offered in tiered packages – one package being just price information over SMS, and the other price information plus use of a call-in helpline. IFPRI is interested in seeing how these two market information ‘packages’ change how farmers and traders work.
Do rainfall precipitation forecasts sent via SMS improve smallholder productivity and resource utilization over time?
Can Commodity Exchanges be transformed through organized mobile data services that connect members?
How is cross-border trade affected when mobile communications are introduced–what barriers remain and what barriers are removed?
What value can mobile-based agricultural extension services bring to rural farmers (delivered in both voice and SMS)?
How much does accessibility to a functional, affordable Farmer Helpline with locally relevant content impact farmer productivity and livelihood?
What is a smallholder farmers’ willingness to pay for agricultural market data delivered via mobile? Is it relative to their income?
What are the factors affecting the adoption of mobile based information services in agriculture? Accessibility, technological literacy and trust can be studied.
How much can agri-businesses and projects save in operational costs utilizing SMS in their communication with members and suppliers?