321 mobile phone training system launches in Mozambique for farmers

A farmer dances with a Vodacom representative at the launch of the 321 mobile system.A farmer dances with a Vodacom representative at the launch of the 321 mobile system.Officially introducing the 321 agriculture training system in Mozambique last month, over 60 representatives from major partners came together to launch the innovative mobile technology.

Hosted on the Vodacom mobile network, farmers are able to access on-demand information on production best practices, new technologies and weather advisories through the 321 system. Farmers can also access up-to-date information on available inputs and market prices, making them more competitive and less susceptible to middle men.

In attendance to launch the new technology were the CEO of Vodacom-Mozambique Salimo Abdula and Sergio Malo, the Country Representative for Human Network International, the partner developing the system. The 321 system is part of NCBA CLUSA’s Information Communication Technology Extension Challenge project in Mozambique, known locally as Extensao Multimedia.

Funded jointly by USAID, IFAD and the Gates Foundation, through the Global Alliance for Food Security, the project aims to bring accessible technology to smallholder farmers for easier access to important market and farm training and information. Ultimately, this should increase uptake in training and improve production for farmers. While on the ground training is key, the 321 system broadens the potential reach of important farm information, getting to any farmer who wants to access the system.

The system can be accessed in two ways: by dialing *321# and going through the menu, or by calling 84321 and hearing menu options to make it more accessible. The information is available in Portuguese, Shangana and Macua languages.

“Using communications technology to disseminate key agriculture trainings, such as the improved benefits of conservation agriculture, will only make our work in Mozambique more effective and able to reach a broader audience,” said Carolina Reynoso Pieters, NCBA CLUSA’s Country Director in Mozambique.

With the technology officially launched, the goal is to reach over 600,000 farmers with extension training through the system resulting in 150,000 acres with improved technology and production techniques.

Learn more about the New Alliance ICT Extension Challenge Fund e-Extensao Project.

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