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Four million farmers digitally empowered

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GSMA's mNutrition initiative empowered more than five million farmers in six developing countries, nearly four million of them in collaboration with Grameenphone and Telenor Pakistan.

Launched in February 2014, the GSMA mNutrition initiative is a program supported by UK aid. It is designed to improve nutrition for underserved populations through mobile-based services that aim to change behaviours. Six companies across Asia and Africa collaborated with GSMA Mobile for Development to launch and scale up the program in their respective countries, including Grameenphone and Telenor Pakistan, along with Airtel Malawi, Dialog Sri Lanka, Vodafone Ghana and Ooredoo Myanmar.

Recently, GSMA released an impact report on the initiative and reported 5.1 million agricultural value-added service (Agri VAS) users as a result of the efforts conducted in 6 countries. Out of these, 760,000 are from Bangladesh using Grameenphone’s Krishi Sheba service and 2.9 million are active users of Khushhaal Zamindar service, created by Telenor Pakistan.


Khushaal Zamindar (Prosperous Landlord) is an Agri VAS launched by Telenor Pakistan in December 2015, and it offers a three-layered value proposition to farmers: improve yields & save them from disaster. Users dial 7272, numbers chosen because they sound the same as the Urdu words meaning “work together”. This number gives users access to various content categories which are stylised in the form of short conversations between members of a local farming family. In addition, daily calls and SMS include weather forecasts and agricultural and livestock advisory, also available through IVR. The service is free of cost for users and is looking into offering advertising space to form a sustainable business model.

Impact: Khushaal Zamindar users see the mobile phone as a key source of information. Active users cited their phone or 7272 as one of their two most important information sources, more often than non-users (85% versus 56%).

Krishi Sheba (Agriculture Service) registers users through a one-click registration process for access to seasonal agricultural content from planting to post-harvest, choosing from three of 16 crops and livestock. The service was offered free of cost during Q2 and Q3 2016 and is now charged at a nominal USD 0.04 per week. It advertises one outbound dialing call per week per crop with one additional nutrition message. Users can also access more information through IVR or speaking to a call center agent.

Impact: While Krishi Sheba is not the only source of information for most users, 66% of users reported their mobile as one of the two main sources of information leading them to make changes in their practices, compared to 42% of non-users.

If you would like to read more on the subject, you can get the complete report here:

Creating scalable, engaging mobile solutions for agriculture: A study of six content services in the mNutrition Initiative portfolio

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