Grantee: Esoko Networks Ltd.
Project name: “Market Information System Regional Reseller Accelerator”
Grant amount: £716,388
Project start date: 8th September 2014
Project duration: 3 years 4 months
Countries benefiting: Mozambique; Zimbabwe; Uganda; Tanzania; Zambia; and Rwanda
Description of the organization:
Esoko Networks Ltd. is a for profit company aimed at making agriculture more profitable for smallholder farmers. Formerly called TradeNet, Esoko has grown to become the leading initiative in delivering market information to farmers across Africa, operating in 10 countries, employing over 200 people and increasing farmer income by 10%. Esoko is an example of how the public sector can participate and encourage private sector innovation and investment to drive food security and improve livelihoods. Esoko has owned and operated offices in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, and resellers in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.
Esoko Networks Ltd. has developed a real time, SMS-driven, market information service for grain farmers, buyers, resellers and other agribusinesses. The East African Regional Market Information System (EARM) enables farmers to learn market prices, understand price trends, gain knowledge on crop management and climate issues, and better manage input supplies. Esoko will work through a network of information resellers that will collect and disseminate cross border market information in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Esoko seeks to establish a minimum of 12 resellers in the six countries with the aim of demonstrating that there is enough demand to make the reseller network profitable and sustainable at the end of the two year project. Although other market information systems exist, EARM will be the first private, cross border, real time market information system focused on farmers and traders in East and Southern Africa. Esoko will create awareness in 6 countries about innovative software solutions that can allow public or private business/projects/associations to collect and disseminate market information. A similar system currently operates in West Africa, and has improved farmer income by an average of 10% annually.