Chief Saaka Mahama, a village chief from Northern Ghana, has been negotiating better deals for his harvests using Esoko price alerts. He recently refused to sell to a buyer who came to his village to buy cashews–citing his Esoko SMS message about the current price in Yendi market, Chief sent him away empty handed. One week later, the buyer returned and bought at Chief’s price, giving Chief an extra 100 cedis (70 USD).
Eric Poatob uses Esoko to negotiate better prices with the dealer who comes to his village outside of Chamba. With additional income he’s made since he started requesting market prices via SMS, he’s been able to increase the size and output of his farm by periodically renting a tractor. He’s also paid his tuition for a building construction course in Tamale Polytechnic so he can diversify his business activities and continue increasing his income.
Esoko users are able to use SMS price alerts to watch price trends and decide when to buy or sell their goods. In small farming communities, this can make a significant difference in revenue. Prosper, whose main crop is yam tubers, explains that difference.“Before Esoko we didn’t know the prices; we just sent our products when they are ready. Now we know the prices and also when to sell our products. Before, I sent my 100 tubers of yam to Accra and could get 20 Ghana cedis for it, now I check prices and go to Accra when prices are good. I could get up to 200 Ghana cedis for the same 100 tubers.”