30 years

MIS - Innovative solutions

Knowledge sharing driven by the research project conducted by CTA and partners is helping to produce new solutions and overcome technical and institutional difficulties. The following are some examples of MIS innovations, where lessons learned during the two-year project have been taken on board in system design.

In Burkina Faso, farmers' organisation CPF (Confédération Paysanne du Faso) wanted to set up its own MIS. But after discussions with NGO Afrique Verte and the Société Nationale de Gestion du Stock de Sécurité Alimentaire (SONAGESS), the decision was taken to partner with Afrique Verte to improve their MIS, including common targeted areas to pilot a new SMS platform for information dissemination, as well as collaborating with SONAGES for further analytical aspects. The need for a multi-service approach, as indicated by the CTA research initiative, has been taken into account by the EU project supporting CPF: market information dissemination goes along with warrantage/inventory finance and crop insurance promotion, to improve risk management and market access.

In Tanzania, an apex farmers' organisation (MVIWATA) has developed an MIS closely linked with a physical marketplace – a spot market. Price dissemination on billboards in surrounding villages, together with the intensity of transactions in the marketplace, encourage farmers to move to the market, instead on relying on collectors. For traders, improved marketplaces and market information accessible through SMS secure procurement.

Meanwhile, in Ghana, private market information supplier Esoko has developed a call centre for farmers, which includes MIS services. In Kenya, the Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange (KACE) has launched a similar service. While the concept itself is not new, the approach, which makes use of new technologies, is already proving successful, though it is too early to assess any concrete impacts.