According to a FAO report (2011), women in Africa produce nearly 90 per cent of the food in Africa and provide over 60 per cent of paid labor and household production. The report also shows that if women were to have access to inputs as their male counterparts, their yields would increase by 20-30% and reduce hunger for an average 130 Million people.
To ensure that women participate efficiently in agricultural production processes, Farm Concern International (FCI) came up with a mobile technology innovation that reduces labor and time spent by women smallholder farmers in accessing quality farm inputs, services and market information.
Through the platform known as E-Women AFMAX (Africa Markets and Farms Exchange) platform, the women can access quality farm inputs, services and market information using their phones with minimal mobility.
FCI's AFMAX innovation rides on the mobile phone revolution in Kenya where currently there are over 30 million mobile phones and a robustly regulated mobile phone network that permeates all villages in Kenya and supports over 43 million people.
FCI has been implementing the pilot phase of this innovation in 10 commercial villages in Central and Eastern Kenya where over 5,300 smallholder farmers are actively using the platform. From a survey conducted by FCI during the implementation, data collected showed that the innovation is helping women farmers save time which is occupied by other farm activities.
This resulted into a corresponding increase in productivity of the enterprises that the women farmers were engaged in as a result of dedication of more time to activities that enhance these enterprises. Survey shows that livestock (66.7%) and weeding (44.4%) took the greatest share of the saved time.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond