Mobile phones help Northern Ghana’s farming families beat climate change

by Gordon Kotey Nikoi (Esoko Ghana), Samuel Partey (CCAFS West Africa) and Robert Zougmore (CCAFS West Africa)

A farmer inspects his millet crop in Ghana. By availing farmers useful climate information through mobile phones in northern Ghana, beneficiaries have witnessed increased yields. Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)
A farmer inspects his millet crop in Ghana. By availing farmers useful climate information through mobile phones in northern Ghana, beneficiaries have witnessed increased yields. Photo: N. Palmer (CIAT)

Innovative partnerships enables up to 1000 farmers to access useful climate information services for improved livelihoods.

Livelihoods in the Northern part of Ghana are characterized by chronic poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation. These continue to worsen due to the region’s vulnerability to climate change. In the quest to improve the capacity of farmers to better manage climate-related risks and build more resilient livelihoods, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) West Africa initiated a sound approach entailing climate information services. This includes designing tailored climate information services and communicating them appropriately to farmers for their farm management decision making.

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Esoko Core Values: Think Ahead

think ahead

One of the key skills that separates great athletes from good is their ability to anticipate. This means that great athletes are better able to accurately anticipate opponent’s’ intentions before they take a shot or hit the ball. Researchers have found that these athletes are just better at identifying which information to pay attention to, and which information to block out, and are able to extract meaning from the important information more efficiently and effectively than novices (Mann, Williams, Ward & Janelle, 2007). Of course strength and endurance matter, but what matters just as much is the ability to anticipate.

This is what Think Ahead means at Esoko.

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Esoko Core Values: Find the opportunity in every challenge

Find the opportunity in every challenge

 

“Grit” is the combination of someone’s passion to achieve a goal combined with a tenacious drive to achieve it. Few people exemplify grit more than a tiny American gymnast named Kerri Strug. In the 1996 Olympics, Strug severely damaged her ankle in her landing from the vault. She limped over to her coach and asked him whether the team needed her to complete her second vault in order to win the gold medal. He said yes. And what happened next was breath-taking. She ran full speed toward the vault on a damaged ankle, stuck the landing, saluted the judges, and collapsed to her knees. As a result, the Americans won the gold.

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Leveraging mobile technology in farming

 

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Mobile technology continues to expand its ability to assist various sectors, including the agricultural industry. In Africa, 40% of the population now have access to internet browsing on their phones according to It News Africa, while ownership of smartphones continue to increase in the continent. As mobile device usage strengthens in Africa, projects related to economic stabilization, including technological advancements in farming and agriculture, have blossomed.

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Esoko Core Values: Team Esoko First

 

team esoko first

Team Esoko First means that we are not Kenyans and Ghanaians first. We are not Product or Sales or HR first. Team Esoko First means that our first priority is to achieve our purpose of improving the lives of the poor through innovation. Team Esoko First means never saying “that’s not my job”.

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Google X Esoko

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In the month of May, Esoko welcomed four Google employees to our Ghana office for a 3-week volunteer consulting project. We got a chance to sit down with Ariel, Bo, Dori and Fareed at the end of their project to talk about their experience. Here’s what they had to say:

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Esoko Core Values: Give everyone a remarkable experience

Author: Hillary Miller-Wise (HMW), CEO of Esoko

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Esoko’s second value is to “give everyone a remarkable experience”. But how do we know what remarkable looks like? Surely, the definition of a remarkable experience is highly subjective. What’s remarkable to you may be not be remarkable to me. So how do we know what makes an experience remarkable?

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Scary thoughts on what awaits Africa (with the fast approaching Fourth Industrial Revolution)

 

Author: Dr. Mayuri Odedra-Straub, Digital Africa

Digital Africa Global Consult (of which I am part) recently hosted its 4th International Conference with the theme, “Accelerated Development of Africa with Internet of Everything”, in Abuja, from 1-3 June 2016. A number of African and international speakers spoke about Internet of Everything (IoE – connecting people, data, processes, and things to make networked connections relevant) and Internet of Things (IoT – linking smart objects to the Internet); what these technologies are all about, how they are being used in the West, what kind of a role they can play in the African development process, and so on. However, being made aware of what awaits us in the future left many more scary thoughts on my mind (as far as Africa’s future is concerned) than IoE or IoT.

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Agriculture and Nutrition: A Nexus to Improve the Livelihood of Population at the Base of the Pyramid

Author: Frederick Kofi Asare, Nutrition Specialist (Esoko)

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The BoP

Socioeconomic classification segments and situates part of the working class, the working poor and the poor at the base of the economic pyramid.  There are about 4 billion people worldwide at the base of the pyramid, meaning over 4 billion people live with less than $2.50 a day and are excluded from the modernity of our globalized civilized societies, including consumption and choice, as well as access. (FT).

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Access and use of seasonal forecast Information gives hope to farmers in Northern Ghana

 

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Livelihoods in the Northern part of Ghana are characterized by chronic poverty, food insecurity and environmental degradation which continue to worsen due to the region’s vulnerability to climate change. Considering this need, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) is using its Climate-Smart Village (CSV) models in West Africa Ghana to test and validate several agricultural interventions with the participation of various local partners. In 2014 and 2015, CCAFS-West Africa signed an agreement with Esoko Ghana and the Ghana Metrological service to provide climate information to farmers through ICT (mobile phone) in order to improve their capacity to better manage climate related risks and build more resilient livelihoods.

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