Monday, June 15, 2015

Ethiopia: Massive success for agricultural hotline

(Jun 15, 2015, (The Africa Report))--An agricultural hotline designed to provide free agricultural advice to smallholder farmers about planting crops, using fertiliser and preparing land, has registered a massive success since its launch in Ethiopia only last year.

The country's first agricultural hotline, 8028 call-in system, has achieved a major milestone, surpassing a full one million registered callers, with nearly 6.5 million phone calls received.
The hotline is a result of a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Ethio Telecom, and the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA).

ATA says the hotline is revolutionising traditional agricultural extension services by providing smallholder farmers with direct access to "best practice" agronomic advice.
"Hitting the one million caller mark in under a year is a tremendous endorsement of the 8028 system," ATA CEO, Khalid Bomba said.

He explained that, "out of the one million registered callers, 730,000 have identified themselves as farmers". Wondirad Mandefro, State Minister of Agriculture, also said it signals "a huge opportunity" to assist Ethiopia's smallholder farmers in an innovative manner.

This, according to the minister, includes providing them with targeted information using digital technology to help them increase their agricultural productivity and improve their livelihoods. Read more from The Africa Report »

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