Stage 3: Proof of Concept
Dispersed rural populations, monitoring difficulties and a lack of accountability limit the efficacy of traditional agricultural extension systems. The recent rapid spread of cell phones to even the most remote locations have created the possibility of providing customized, timely, on-demand agricultural information to hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers. This project proposes to scale and evaluate a promising, open-source service, Awaaz Otalo, which allows farmers to both receive “broadcast” information, and pose questions to expert agronomists.
Agriculture and Technology
Agriculture and TechnologySEE LESS
Funds Raised to Date
To provide farmers with a hotline to ask questions and receive responses from agricultural scientists and local extension workers.
How does your innovation work?
Awaaz Otalo (AO) is a cell-phone based technology that allows farmers to call in to a hotline, ask questions and receive responses from agricultural scientists and local extension workers. Farmers also receive weekly push-content, which includes time-sensitive information such as weather forecasts and pest planning. By utilizing cell-phone networks to deliver agricultural extension,
Planned Goals and Milestones
The service is run in cooperation with the Development Support Centre (DSC), an NGO with decades of experience in providing agricultural extension services.
AO solves many challenges in traditional extension models. Importantly, AO has the capability to reach millions of previously excluded farmers at a virtually negligible marginal cost. Additionally, through providing a forum in which content provision is demand-driven, AO provides customized information that is easily accessible and relevant. Finally, whereas extension agents are difficult to monitor, content provision on AO is easily monitored through a central forum.