KUMASI, Ghana — Farmerline collaborates with farmers across Ghana in providing technical farming advice directly to their phones using the mobile phone-powered lifeline. Farmerline aims to empower small-scale farmers in becoming more successful in their agricultural production by using technology to link farmers to markets, finance, weather forecast and other information to improve their harvest and income.
Farmerline is a technology product company situated in Kumasi, Ghana, and provides improved information access and better communication channels to integrate agricultural outputs of rural farmers in emerging markets.
The introduction of new technologies has drastically changed the way of communication. Mobile phones are one of the most important technologies for business development in emerging markets, especially in developing nations.
Farmerline’s phone-powered lifeline allows agricultural workers in Ghana to be connected using their mobile phones via voice services and instant messaging, if needed.
As the world enters a new period, problems are apparent between the availability of natural resources and the demands of billions of people who require them for survival.
According to the Population Reference Bureau, the human population is growing each day by almost a quarter million while the amount of natural resources required for survival are being depleted.
Across the world, 841 million people suffer from hunger, malnutrition and famine. In total, 95 percent of people experiencing hunger live in developing countries. As a result, farmers are facing a great amount of tension on the reality of the agricultural strain.
Farmers will need to at least be able to double food production by 2050 to keep pace of the constant growing population.
Small-scale farmers account for half a billion worldwide, and are currently feeding one-third of humanity. In the country of Ghana, small-scale farmers are responsible for almost 80 percent of domestic food production.
In developing nations, small-scale farmers produce the majority of food to sustain the population of those nations. With the expected population increase in these nations, the agricultural production becomes difficult to maintain.
Currently, Farmerline’s focus has been on helping small-scale farmers by using mobile technology to create a communication platform for these farmers and the organizations and stakeholders that work with them.
According to the World Bank, Ghana has higher rates of mobile cellular phone subscriptions than Spain, Australia and many other countries. It is reported that as many as two-thirds of Ghana’s rural citizens have access to mobile phones.
Farmerline’s phone-powered lifeline helps farmers increase productivity and sell more of their harvest so they can make more income to support their families and no fall into poverty. Farmerline differs from other establishments in the way their information is delivered. Tips and instructions are often delivered by voice and not SMS.
Because more than half of adults in Ghana are illiterate, information delivered through voice services is the most effective way. Farmerline’s connection is available in 12 local languages and the information conveyed is always related to the farmer’s certain situation.
To date, more than 2,000 small-scale farmers and fishermen are benefiting from mobile communication service offered by Farmerline. Farmers in the Farmerline network have shown an increase in their income average of 55.6 percent according to their most recent impact assessment.