When smallholder farmers are deciding where to sell their crop, one piece of information is crucial: crop price.
Without knowing how much they’ll receive for their crops, our Partners are unable to make informed decisions. They can’t take calculated risks without knowing the market prices for green peppers.
This is where the 2Seeds Masoko Project comes in. Based in the city of Dar es Salaam, the Masoko Project is centered around the Kariakoo Market, the largest wholesale market in Tanzania. One of the project’s principle areas of focus is improving access to crop price information for smallholder farmers throughout Tanzania.
2Seeds has established a deep and committed partnership with the Kariakoo Market Corporation (KMC), which manages the market’s commercial operations. Since the Masoko Project launched in 2011, the KMC statisticians have collected crop price data daily. This accurate and consistent data collection is unprecedented in Tanzanian markets.
Nonetheless, the mere existence of the price data didn’t enable farmers to access it. In 2013, 2Seeds held a competition for various Tanzanian-based tech companies to create an app to facilitate collection of the price data. Habari Mazao’s app was chosen and the Tanzanian tech startup later created a website to host the data. Now, daily price information for 33 crops can be accessed online!
Recently, 2Seeds forged another invaluable partnership with Vodacom, one of the major cellular network providers in Tanzania. Vodacom disseminates the Kariakoo crop price information through Kilimo Klub, an SMS-based service oriented to smallholder farmers. For rural farmers, this means they can register themselves with the system and get periodic updates with their selected crop’s current market price. This way, they have more information to make an informed decision about where to sell their produce, as well as increased negotiation power.
In addition to sharing crop prices, Kilimo Klub may eventually enable mobile commerce of agricultural products. We look forward to tracking how implementation of this technology revolutionizes smallholder farmer market access and decision-making processes!