‘COVID-19 shows the importance of technology in serving farmers’

April 17, 2020

Meet Ebenezer Oppong

Ebenezer Oppong is the Farmerline Zonal Manager for the Nyinahin Zone, which is made up of Atwima Mponua and Atwima Nwabiagya Districts in the Ashanti Region.

Atwima Mponua and Atwima Nwabiagya Districts in the Ashanti Region.

He is one of Farmerline’s over 200 field agents, whose role is to deliver relevant training and resources to farmers in their communities. With his smartphone in hand, Ebenezer uses the Farmerline’s Mergdata software to register and collect data on farmers, create their digital identities, including generating digital ID cards, conduct credit scoring and monitor loans. With Mergdata, Ebenezer can receive input requests from farmers and their community agents as well as monitor sales and input distribution.

Ebenezer says each day working for Farmerline brings new experiences – learning new lessons, meeting new farmers and helping them overcome their challenges.

However, with Ghana also in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Farmerline is finding ways to continue to serve and engage farmers. With limited travel, field agents like Ebenezer are delivering essential inputs farmers need to cultivate their farms while observing all safety protocols. Ebenezer says the technology Farmerline relies on means he is still able to communicate with the farmers, community agents and agro input dealers he cannot easily reach in these times.

Mergdata provides field agents with information on farmers and insights into field activities that help them to serve farmers

“Because we align our work with technology and we have a platform where we keep data of all our activities and operations, it becomes really easy to stay in touch with farmers and other partners.

I have all the information I need to reach and support farmers on my laptop and my smartphone. This simplifies my work in the field and keeps me connected to our farmers even during these uncertain times.”

A dashboard on Mergdata’s credit scoring feature

If Farmerline relied on manually inputting data, Ebenezer says he would be dealing with a major headache during these times of COVID-19.

Farmers’ challenges are complex and this makes it important to have some key insights on each farmer in order to recommend the right support. If we were doing a lot of things manually, you may skip some key activities or forget some things that you’ve recorded about a farmer. And during such pandemics, farmer engagement would be a real challenge.

Because of Farmerline’s way of operating – using technology and digitising all our operations – we are able to keep track of every activity and monitor the growth and impact we’re having in farmers’ lives. All the insights from the field are available at the tip of my fingers.”

Likewise, the farmers can reach out to him with any concerns, questions or feedback.

“Farmers now see us as partners in increasing their yield and also bringing them up financially,” he explains. “The farmers rely on us for, not only quality inputs but also information which helps them in their daily work.”

Our commitment to Farmers

Our focus from the very beginning has been to create lasting profits for farmers by providing them with the resources and knowledge they require to thrive. With over 80% of our food coming from smallholder farmers, it is obvious that productive and thriving smallholders will contribute greatly to healthy and thriving African economies. But amidst imposed restrictions during the COVID-19 outbreak, there are bound to be unintended consequences on food production and supply. With over 250 million hungry people already in Africa, we cannot afford more hungry and desperate Africans at this time.

Our strategy is to work from the bottom up. By getting closer to our farmers in these times, we are learning about their unique challenges and developing solutions that will help them to continue food production that will sustain food supply.

We are also maximising the use of digital tools to engage farmers. Together with selfless volunteers and partners, our teams are working around the clock to keep farmers informed about COVID-19 and how they can protect their households at this time.

Read more about our COVID-19 messages to farmers here.


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