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Vodafone Group, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and not-for-profit organisation TechnoServe has announced it has signed an agreement to deploy mobile technology to increase the productivity of thousands of low-income, smallholder farmers in Tanzania

Farming-Africa RenewalFarmers across Tanzania will benefit from a service offering farming advice via text message. (Image source: Africa Renewal)

Under the agreement between the CFA, agribusiness Olam International and Vodacom Tanzania, around 30,000 of Olam’s coffee, cotton and cocoa smallholder farmers in Tanzania will receive farming advice via text message, stated Vodacom Tanzania.

According to the company, notifications will also be sent out about forthcoming training sessions and events, updated information about changes in market prices and the introduction of mobile money transfer using Vodafone’s M-Pesa service, giving farmers more control over their finances and increasing security.

TechnoServe will provide training for Olam International staff and farmers, with the agreement expected to increase productivity and revenues for smallholder farmers supplying cash crops to Olam, it said.

“Mobile communications offer major opportunities to advance human development – from providing access to education and health information to helping boost productivity in the agriculture sector," stated Vodafone group regional CEO, Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region Serpil Timuray.

“In this case, mobile services are being used to enhance farmers’ lives and transform business performance at all points of the agricultural value chain. These partnerships have a powerful effect in helping rural communities develop new skills and grow revenues. Vodafone is committed to using its technology to help improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers around the world,” added Timuray.