Agricultural Mobile Finance

By Lee Babcock

Photo credit: Jan-Pieter Nap

Mobile phone subscriptions will outnumber the global population this year—that’s more than 7 billion subscriptions. The rapid reach of mobiles presents potential for disruptive business model innovations in many sectors at the base of the pyramid – and finance is no exception.

One such innovation is agricultural mobile finance that can benefit farmers, processors, cooperatives, buyers and traders—all the participants in the field-to-fork value chain.

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Mobile Statistics in East Africa

The mobile industry in East Africa shows no signs of slowing down with countries like Kenya recording growth rates in subscriptions of 9% over the past year, and a similar percentage point increase in mobile money users each quarter. Many more businesses have adopted mobile tools to enhance their functions to capitalise on this growing mobile subscription [...]
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How Can Digital Marketing Improve East African Development Outcomes?

More and more East Africans are going online every day. Many of these new netizens are also key development actors – from the wealthy and connected who can direct resources and change policy to the poor and underserved who we are often trying to reach. In our efforts to mobilize them, find new BOP markets, and expand opportunity, what technology medium works the best?

digital marketingInMobi research says that mobile media influences Kenyan consumers more than TV, radio, or newspapers (not that they’d be biased). Which brings up a few questions: Read more

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How BoP in Kenya Use Phones for Income Generation: Videos

iHub Research and Research Solutions Africa conducted a 6-month study in 2012 to increase the understanding of usage of mobile services, products, and applications at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) and to understand their potential for economic and social empowerment. With the cost of mobile devices decreasing and such devices increasingly being considered as [...]
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Quality vs Frequency: What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

Your customers are in the midst of a mind shift. First they get a smartphone. Then they learn that they can ask for any information and get an instant result. What’s the weather forecast? Is this dishwasher highly rated, and is it available more cheaply elsewhere? What’s the song playing on the radio in the deli? Mobile answers all these requests and reinforces, in a Pavolovian way, the concept that we call the mobile mind shift: the expectation that any desired information or service is available, on any appropriate device, in context, at a person’s moment of need. Read more

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Will the Ubuntu Phone Rock the African Software Development Market?

Will the Ubuntu Phone Rock the African Software Development Market?

You’re undoubtedly familiar with Ubuntu. An open source OS powerhouse, some argue that Ubuntu has the potential to take a sizable bite out of the cost of deploying tech that would otherwise require license fees. Others see a fledgling product not yet ready for prime time. But with Ubuntu’s new open source phone-that’s-also-a-computer, we may actually be seeing a glimpse of the future. Read more

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