E-Agriculture

Andrea Jimenez

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Hi Pierre, 

The Zambia Honey Council was formed in 2003, and the partners of this initiative are Hivos, The Swedish Cooperation Centre and the Embassy of Finland.  

More information is also available in their website: http://www.zambiahoneycouncil.org.zm/

 

Hello everyone,

An interesting example on how ICTs are being used by producer organizations is the experience of the Zambia Honey Council (ZHC) as reported by CIFOR. Zambia is the top exporter of honey in southern Africa. The honey is primarily produced and harvested in rural areas far from buyers and markets, which complicates selling. ZHC was created in response to this limitation, to develop capacities of honey producers. ZHC is also part of the Zambia Honey Partnership, which includes government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business and trade associations, beekeepers, exporters/packers, researchers and international development agencies, all supporting the honey industry.

Members of ZHC can benefit from training modules on best field practices in honey production, bulking centres established in honey-producing districts, and the dissemination of information via mobile phones. This last service provides information on potential buyers and their prices by SMS, thereby promoting informed bargaining by the producer organizations. This SMS marketing system allows access to information on individual and collective buyers and specific information on the type of honey buyers are looking for.

As a result, negotiation of prices and quantities can be done directly between producers and buyers, instead of being shared from one producer to another, making the information more accurate and the marketing more efficient. The use of the SMS service has allowed producer organizations new marketing possibilities, which ultimately improves their sells and income.

You can read more about this experience here