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SMS Aimed at Delivering Market Information to Farmers in Mozambique

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An information texting service for farmers and small business is to be launched in Mozambique, backed by assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank.

Launched in partnership with Mozambique's Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) and telecom operator Vodacom, the SMS system will provide farmers and entrepreneurs free and timely information on their business and farming needs.

Through its network of content providers, UEM will gather information on commodity prices, legislation, taxation and other pertinent news for farmers and small businesses in Mozambique. UEM will log the information on IFC's SMEToolkit website, which forwards it as SMS to Vodacom and other participating mobile operators. The telecom companies in turn send the SMS messages to their subscribers.

The SMS system provides farmers and entrepreneurs with information on prices of their products in different markets, and on the weather and seed choice. Farmers and small businesses can access market information on their mobile phones at no extra cost. IFC will work closely with UEM and its content providers to ensure quality and accuracy of the information that will be sent to subscribers.

Orlando Quilambo, Rector head of UEM said "Launching the SMS system with a global telecom operator like Vodacom is a great achievement in the University's strategy to support businesses by providing them timely information. The system will reach the most remote farmers and business persons, and help improve their lives."

The partnership between UEM and IFC dates back to 2010, when the University was selected as the SMEToolkit partner in Mozambique. UEM has since been uploading information to the Mozambican SMEToolkit website, turning it into a one-stop shop for businesses in the country. To date, the site has logged more than 200, 000 SMEs visitors and now has about 3, 400 registered users.

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Tags: Mozambique