Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

ICT Applications and Agricultural Input Supply Companies: Highlights from Africa

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Date Published: 
February 1, 2013

These resources are part of the series "ICT to Enhance Impact of Agriculture Development."

Briefing Paper
This briefing paper presents the results of an assessment carried out to identify, document and share examples of ICTs that are being used by African agricultural input supply companies to better manage their distribution networks and provide important products, services, information and technical support to their farmer clients. The assessment was carried out between June and September 2012, and included field visits to Kenya and Zambia to interview agricultural input supply companies. This resulted in the identification of a number of ICT applications being used by these companies to improve operations and provide benefits to farmers. The paper includes a description of agricultural input supply companies, selected ICT applications they are using, and the impact these applications are having both on their operations and with farmers they sell to. It also includes implications for donor programs and ways to facilitate the integration of ICTs by targeted companies.

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The following profiles provide additional information on ICT applications and services that are related to the topic covered in this briefing paper. You can download each at the top right of this page.

Profile: MRI Agro
A brief profile outlining MRI Agro, an input supply company in Zambia that is using electronic vouchers to encourage advance purchase of inputs and to offer discounts,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Angaza Mkulima
A brief profile outlining Angaza Mkulima, an online and mobile platform being used by Farmchem in Kenya to manage and provide information to existing and potential customers,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Kilimo Salama
A brief profile outlining Kilimo Salama, an indexed micro-insurance service for smallholder farmers using mobile phones in Kenya,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Mace Foods and M-PESA
A brief profile outlining Mace Foods' use of M-Pesa in Kenya to reduce costs and fraud, including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Plant Agrichem Services
A brief profile outlining Plant Agrichem Services and its use of discount coupons and and electronic agent database and tracking system to facilitate rural agent sales,  including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Nutrient Manager for Rice
A brief profile outlining the Nutrient Manager for Rice, a mobile and web-based decision support tool providing personalized fertilizer guidelines for small-scale rice farmers or extension workers, including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

Profile: Mrittikka
A brief profile outlining Mrittikka, a mobile and web-based nutrient management and analysis tool used through local entrepreneurs in India, including how it works, the implementer/funder, the technology used, fees, primary markets, users, business model, and impact.

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The FACET project (Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information and Communication Technologies) was a 4-year USAID-funded activity, which came to a close in September 2013. FACET provided technical assistance to improve competitiveness and productivity across agriculture sub-sectors through the use of ICT to enhance the functioning and competitiveness of agricultural value chains and facilitate trade in agricultural products across Sub-Saharan Africa.