Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mobile agri-business in Congo (133) - matchmaking challenges and promises

On Tuesday 27 September, Narcisse Mbunzama Lokwa
exposed his mobile agro-business enterprise. Mobile phones – and particularly short messenging services (SMS) - offer opportunities for farmers to develop their capacities, share information about their products and connect with markets in real time. This helps them increase their knowledge about the possibilities to sell their products, increase their productivity and their revenues. The overall objective is to develop food security and better health of the poor in rural Congo and other areas.

The 8 participants to the session questioned the business model of Narcisse, who pays for the service (the connecting service is free except for farmers that wish to sell their products in that way), the connectivity of farmers (who do have access to mobile phones in the areas where Narcisse is working) and the potential to scale it up to other, perhaps more deprived, areas (which seems to be a challenge at this stage). One of the participants suggested introducing positive competition among farmers by increasing the transparency of their offers, to stimulate better productivity and a more effective matchmaking.

The session was short but showed there is potential to expand this kind of mechanisms and to connect with similar initiatives in the region (Congo-Brazza, Cameroon etc.).

No comments:

Post a Comment