The Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) with support from the Government of Tanzania and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) launched the Mobile Kilimo Platform in Ileje, Mbeya Region, Tanzania in May 2015.
The Mobile Kilimo Platform is an innovative mobile phone-based platform, which aims at helping farmers to access markets for agriculture products and promoting knowledge sharing by enabling extension officers to share knowledge among themselves and with farmers.
Once registered for the service, farmers and buyers of crops can meet online and do business.
A one-day training to 35 Ileje district agricultural and forestry extension officers was given to empower them with skills to manage the platform.
The Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Marketing, Hon. Janet Mbene said at the launch that “the initiative is truely beneficial to Ileje district due to the fact that 90 % of people here are farmers”.
Agriculture dominates the livelihood and economic performance of Mbeya Region. The sector contributes about 40 % to the regional economy and employs about 80 % of the working population in the Region.
Mobile Kilimo is an outcome of studies which ESRF conducted in different wards in Bunda and Bukoba Rural Districts.
The studies revealed that majority of respondents above 80% possess mobile phones; therefore the usage of mobile phones would facilitate communication and information and knowledge sharing among communities.