INFORMATION AND ADVICE ON AGRICULTURAL VALUE CHAINS

The market information: a lever for improving income!

For nearly six years, the NGO RONGEAD implements an initiative called N’kalô to improve the marketing of the products of the agricultural sector in West and Central Africa. This is to educate, inform and advise the players in the value chain (production, processing and marketing) on the market situation at the local, regional, sub-regional and international levels. This service enables them to adopt strategies that reflect the state of the market and their needs during campaigns. Today the service provides market information analyzed continuously and agricultural advice in 10 sectors: cashew nut, shea, sesame, maize, onion, groundnut, cassava, yam, plantain, arabic gum in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Chad.

 A crucial information

These are sectors where market information is crucial for actors (from producer to political leader, through private enterprise) make rational and appropriate decisions to deal with price volatility and act in harmony . These decisions lead to strategies that generate more income for producers, but they allow especially to avoid taking unnecessary risks and thus secure income.

 A good illustration is the cashew market. This market varies greatly and price trends are changing quickly, especially at the producer level. These variations also affect processors who have difficulty in anticipating their purchases, sales, and therefore their profitability. Investments in the sector are quite risky and require a good knowledge of the functioning of the market.

This service is the result of close collaboration between RONGEAD and its field partners (NGOs Chigata in Côte d’Ivoire, Fenprose Senegal, Inades Formation Burkina, Fikirna Chad, Orange Mali ...). These help make the analyzed market information available to the actors, but also to collect field data, to analyze the local and national market, and advising the actors in relation to their specific constraints. For the dissemination of information, RONGEAD provides information through diversified channels and the content is adapted for every type of player:

- A weekly newsletter by sector transmitted by email to nearly 600 chain actors, and by paper to cooperatives, traders and processing units

- Mobile short messages (SMS, USSD) sent to over 35,000 subscribers

- Permanent availability (physical or telephone) of field consultants to get personalized advice

- A website dedicated to the sector: www.nkalo.com, which includes information on 10 sectors for the countries concerned

- Our expertise tailored to each actor and demand

 

The operating procedure of the service differs between countries of intervention:

In Senegal, we directly support the National Federation Service sesame producers (FENPROSE). The majority of the service is provided by professional agricultural organizations (OPA) of the Federation (price collection, dissemination of information, internal consulting ...), which in return receive decrypted information on the state of the market to more than 1000 key producers. Thus, with a very low cost intervention and relying on local skills, the service own a very good potential to be economically sustainable.

In Ivory Coast, with Orange, producers can now subscribe to daily news by SMS on 9 products, via a short number "7818". Orange and RONGEAD decided to act jointly to make available a relevant tool adapted to rural areas and containing useful information facilitating user loyalty. This service allows them to know everything about the agricultural news, the farm-gate price and the prices trends. For example, the SMS information on cashew in the Zanzan region of March 25, 2014 is as follows: "Beggining of the rain in some areas and lack of liquidity among buyers. Price: 225 to 250F / kg. Trend: slightly decrease". The service now covers the entire Ivory Coast. The subscription is charged to 100 FCFA per month.

In Mali, the value chain market analysis is now available with the Sènèkèla service promoted by Orange Mali. This value-added service (VAS) provides to Orange subscribers the opportunity to discuss via a call center with specialized agronomists advisers via the short number 37333 or through an mobile advisory service that provides prices and trends on 5 produts by dialing # 222 #. The service accumulated 240,000 consultations since its launch (july 2014).

 

 

The service is designed to be economically viable (excluding funds from development aid). For this RONGEAD maximizes the transfer of skills at local level (including training local analysts) and develops the service for national and international actors (agro-food industries, public or private institutions, telephone companies.). Today 34% of the total financing of the service is provided by these actors. We also note that about 3% of the service is funded by the producers and their organizations. However, this contribution should not be considered the only resource for funding because of the low tartegeted population purchasing power.

 
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