We're broadening our blog posts to not only share stories of end-users but also of other people that are in the Esoko family in one way or another. We're also letting them tell their experiences in their own voice...hope you enjoy.
Ghana, France, Denmark
My name is Nuhu and I’m working on Impact Studies with Cirad, an international research center for agricultural development. The studies are on the 2nd generation of Market Information Systems (MIS) that are emerging now, and mine is a case study of the Esoko MIS in Ghana. This research is important because we have to see the differences between 1st and 2nd generation MIS. We assume that 2nd generation (in the 2nd generation because of new mobile and internet technologies) have changed MIS and can actually reach the needed impact that MIS has always wanted to achieve. We are now collating data that we collected on the livelihoods and trading patterns of 600 farmers in Ghana, half of whom receive SMS messages from Esoko on prices and half of whom do not. We will then compare responses from the two categories to find out if our ideas about 2nd generation MIS are true or not.
It is so exciting to see people receiving SMS messages on their phones and making better decisions on where to sell and when to sell. What I saw was individuals using the information from the MIS and coming together to store their goods, or transport together, so they could make more money. We have a long way to go to spread this MIS to everyone but the fact that farmers are making requests and spending their own money to get the information really surprised me. I hope that my contribution to MIS research will tell the story in numbers too.
Nuhu Sulemana, August 2010