Can mobile technology help deepen relationships with agribusiness and improve access to financial services for smallholder farmers? Several innovative international development programs are testing that premise. The Connected Farmer Alliance (CFA), one such program, has demonstrated, after three years, that commercially viable models of m-Agricultural services can also have impact. Operating in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, this public-private partnership between USAID and Vodafone, with TechnoServe as implementing partner, has showcased an approach that provides benefits to poor farmers as well as agribusinesses.
On May 13 we got a glimpse into the CFA program and learned tips and tricks about forming business relationships between mobile network operators and agribusinesses that leverage mobile money and strengthen links across value chains. Michael Elliott of TechnoServe, Laura Crow of Vodafone, and Judy Payne of USAID discussed what the CFA partnership is working on, how it is benefiting stakeholders, and how the lessons learned can help inform the field of m-Agriculture.