Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives
Organisation responsible for case study:
m-Omulimisa: Connecting farmers
Main Project Location: Kampala
Project country/countries: Uganda
Project dates: 2014 –
Last updated: 23 March 2022
Brief overview of the Case Study
m-Omulimisa is an agriculture technology company that leverages ICT tools especially mobile phone technology to improve the livelihoods of all small holder farmers in Uganda. M-omulimisa offers a variety of ICT-based agriculture services including e-extension, agriculture insurance, agricultural loans, and inputs distribution. The organisation supports smallholder farmers to improve their access to information and services needed to sustainably increase productivity and income.
The challenge or problem
Majority of Uganda’s more than 40 million people live in rural areas and practice farming. Supporting smallholder farmers who make up the bulk of the farming population is critical to reducing poverty, boosting prosperity, and creating jobs, especially for women and youth. Unfortunately, Uganda’s agriculture sector is plagued by a host of challenges. These include – but not limited to – too few extension officers to serve a huge farming population with a ratio of 1:5,000 extension officers to farmers which leads to poor access to access services, low technological adoption, lack of access to quality inputs, lack of access to affordable credit changing weather patterns and many others.
The solution that was implemented
Built on his own farming experience, Daniel founded m-Omulimisa in 2014. Daniel is a former Food Security Fellow with U.S. Department of State Food Security at Oklahoma State University and a former ICT Fellow with the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) in Koobe, Japan. He has trained agricultural extension officers and farmers from countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, Jamaica, and many more on integrating ICTs in agriculture extension services.
What results were achieved?
Farmers can use their phones to ask questions in languages that they understand and receive understandable feedback from extension officers in the region via SMS. Inputs are distributed at least 20% cheaper than in input shops in farming communities. The platform earns a commission from supplying these inputs, which is shared with their network agents.
In terms of horizontal offers, M-Omulimisa has partnered with the Agriculture Insurance Consortium (AIC) – to provide highly subsidised agriculture insurance through the field network of agents who work for M-Omulimisa. The service is commission-based, so the more insurance policies the agents sell, the more money they make. The commission helps agents meet their operational costs and provides an incentive for enhancing the service. The service is mobile-based and integrates both USSD for service access and mobile money for premium payments. In partnership with microfinance institutions –Vision Fund and Opportunity Bank – the network of village agents of the platform mobilises farmers into groups and helps them become creditworthy through training in group savings and credit as well as financial literacy. After this, loans are disbursed, with M-Omulimisa acting partly as a guarantor.
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