Vodacom programme winners to empower small farmers

VODACOM Digital Accelerator winners to empower small farmers’ winners have pledged to use innovative technological solutions to address challenges facing small farmers, SMEs, and other agricultural stakeholders.

This was said by one of the winners of Vodacom Digital Accelerator, Ms Isabella Fernandes, the Executive Director and Founder of Bizy Tech in Dar es Salaam at the weekend.

“The technological solutions are important and will help smallholder farmers to access formal financial services and improve their incomes through robust marketing systems,” he said.

He added, “I am very happy to be the first winner of the Vodacom Digital Accelerator programme as it will be a great help in improving the company’s efficiency and reaching more Tanzanians throughout the country,”

Through the USSD technology system, the BaNDO Agriculture service connects farmers easily with a wide range of services including access to training and advice from agricultural experts on best practices during cultivation and after harvest.

This training helps farmers produce better crops that meet market criteria, increase income and reduce post-harvest losses.

“This service also provides loan guarantees to financial institutions that lend to small and medium businesses, while providing them, along with other buyers, a market and certainty of sources of agricultural products,” she said.

Since its launch in 2020, Kilimo BaNDO has registered more than 2.87 million small farmers and helped more than 129,035 small and medium businesses in the cultivation of different crops such as corn, soybeans, cashews, sunflowers, cassava, rice, and adding value in the cultivation of vegetables and fruits.

This service creates a value chain system that connects stakeholders from the farm to the home, including input producers, produce buyers, and financial service providers.

Vodacom Tanzania has invested in bringing solutions to farmers through the M-Kulima digital service, a system that connects all stakeholders in the agricultural sector.

M-Kulima facilitates communication and transactions between companies, governments, or farmers at any time.

This service works by collecting all the necessary information such as residential area, farm size and crops.

On his part, the Managing Director of Vodacom Tanzania Plc, Mr Philip Besiimire said; “The unique thing that has made me happy is to see that a woman has emerged as the first winner.”

“Yet the founders and partners of these companies are mostly men. Let me use this opportunity to appeal to the government and stakeholders to look into the possibility of having this type of programme specifically for women,” he said.

“This will encourage more women founders but will also increase opportunities for women to be in high positions in the leadership system in these companies.”

In addition, there should also be special platforms for the disabled to demonstrate their abilities to increase inclusion at all levels of society,”

This information is important as it is used to provide crop and climate advice. A farmer can access this system and get information about the best agricultural products at the current time, tillage, pests, and harvest.

 

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