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Using Mobile Phones to Improve Information for Brazil's Fishermen

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Brazilian mobile network operator, Vivo has launched a service that provides useful information to fishermen. The service has been launched in partnership with Qualcomm, Instituto Ambiental Brasil Sustent vel (IABS), USAID, ZTE and the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabr lia.

Fishing is one of the primary economic activities in the region with many families depending on it for their livelihood, but recently, the industry has suffered from over-fishing, lack of investment and old infrastructure. As a result, incomes have decreased for the local municipality and people, which has led to reduced opportunities and a migration of family members in search of jobs. This project comes at a time when the fishermen of Santa Cruz Cabrália need to modernize their operations and institutionalize sustainable fishing tactics.

As part of the project, participants have been given mobile devices with mobile credit to access to Vivo's 3G network. Customized software applications were built to provide them with navigation, weather, marketing, direct sales, data collection and technical support; therefore fishermen have support for their activities with real-time analysis and relevant information.

"Our work with the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabrália, ZTE, USAID, IABS and Vivo has allowed fishermen and farmers in these underserved communities to gain access to information that will improve their trade," said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president for the Americas and India for Qualcomm.

In addition to the provided devices, training centers have been established in the town of Santa Cruz Cabrália and on a boat which is able to reach and train more remote fishing communities.

"We appreciate the kind assistance of Qualcomm, Vivo, USAID, ZTE and the municipality of Santa Cruz Cabrália," said André Macedo Brügger, interim president of Fishing with 3G Nets at Instituto Ambiental Brasil Sustentável. "This project supports workers in modernizing their business and sustainability practices and will ultimately foster economic growth in our communities."

In addition to extending coverage - the urban area of Santa Cruz Cabrália already has Vivo's 3G coverage - Vivo has donated devices and data services to be used on the boats and at the computer lab built at the Fisherman House, headquarters of the region's fishermen association.

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Tags: qualcomm  vivo  farmers  coverage  3g coverage  Brazil