Mobile communications technology has quickly become the world’s most common way of transmitting voice, data, and services in the developing world. Given this dramatic change, mobile applications (m-apps) in general and mobile applications for agricultural and rural development (m-ARD apps) in particular hold significant potential for advancing development. They could provide the most affordable ways for millions of people to access information, markets, finance, and governance systems previously unavailable to them (World Bank, December 2011). It is on this basis Farm Concern International (FCI) through E-Women Project innovates African Farms and Market Exchange (AFMA-X).
AFMA-X is a mobile phone based innovation platform which aims to reduce labor and time spent by smallholder women farmers in accessing quality farm inputs, services and market information with minimal mobility. The application can however be used by any farmer and trader to achieve the intended benefits. AFMA-X rides on the mobile phone revolution in Kenya where currently over 30 million people use the mobile phones.
To leverage on this innovation, FCI has been implementing the pilot phase 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 period, the data collected shows that women farmers have a truly competing time ‘matrix’ and any extra time acquired is swiftly utilized on other ‘under-served’ or more demanding farm responsibilities.
FCI VISION : To have commercialized smallholder communities with increased incomes for improved, stabilized & sustainable livelihoods in Africa and beyond