Empowerment of rural farmers through information sharing using inexpensive technologies
Iraba, M. Louise
Venter, Isabella M.
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This paper discusses how to empower rural farmers to do business by means of inexpensive mobile technologies. In particular, the aim is to take advantage of the inexpensive features of low-end mobile phones to access market related information and to allow farmers to promote their commodities competitively. The research targeted rural Transkei farmers in the Eastern Cape. The farmers’ requirements were identified and a prototype for a low- as well as high-end mobile environment was designed to address these requirements. The following features were effected: registration of users, posting of commodities, retrieval of information, and communication with others. The access to the system is through a website (on the phone or a personal computer) or by means of unstructured supplementary service data. The prototype was implemented and tested. The users found the technology easy to use.