At Esoko, we live for the human part of our work. We love hearing stories of the social impact that our weather and price alerts bring to smallholder farmers. Below is a story by one of our Senior Business Advisors, Damiano Lantonkpode, on how farmers in Benin are benefiting from the Esoko platform.
The Esoko platform is currently being used in Benin as part of the GREEN project by Partners for Development (PFD). PFD chose to work with us to empower local vegetable farmers in Southern Benin in the simplest and yet most powerful way: access to information. These farmers receive market prices via SMS on 21 commodities across 15 markets and tips on health and nutrition. The project has been running for two years and the farmers profiled so far are excited about the changes they’ve experienced in their livelihoods.
Corporation Technique Belge (CTB), one of PFD’s partners, conducted a survey on a small group of 250 vegetable farmers who are profiled on the GREEN network and receive market price alerts. The survey revealed that 80% of the 250 farmers profiled in Mono-Cuoffo, Benin were excited and happy to benefit from our services.
This is what some of the farmers had to say:
- “I now have increased profit because I sold my produce at a higher price after receiving alerts on market prices”
- “My family and I are now saving money on medical care by following the health and nutrition tips”
- “I know where to go and sell what and at what price”
- “I know what commodity is in demand at a specific period of the year”
CTB intend to expand to the Northern part of Benin, thanks to the success and excitement created by the project. They are also willing to renew the contract with Esoko and help find a reseller who will make the system sustainable in Benin, after the ongoing PFD contract expires in February 2016. This indeed is another success story for Esoko!