In a bid to inform, enlight, empower and increase access to Agribased information, leading mobile telecommunications operator Airtel Malawi has launched Mchikumbe 212, a mobile phone application that offers access to a wide range of information on farming.
Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Dr Allan Chiyembekeza officially launched the product in Lilongwe.
He said Mchikumbe212 would be handy in reaching out to most small holder farmers to access critical information that can boost their knowledge on agriculture and finances.
“As a Ministry we are proud of Mchikumbe 212 product since it is a dynamic and comprehensive mobile agriculture and financial service aimed at transforming smallholder farmer’s life by providing vital farming information that can enhance farming as business whilst promoting improved financial literacy and cash security awareness,” he said adding that Airtel Malawi deserves a pat on the back for continuous innovations that are hatched to provide instant solutions within our society and communities across the country.
He then said the Ministry of Agriculture shall monitor the progress and performance of the product with keen interest and provide feedback to Airtel.
“We are looking forward to utilizing this product to assist agricultural extension development offices work in extension message dissemination.
“Let us always remember that an informed farmer is an empowered farmer. Information is power as it empowers,” he explained.
In his remarks, Airtel Malawi’s Acting Managing Director Charles Kamoto said Mchikumbe212 is a platform for sound agriculture content and access to market information so that farmers really take their farming as a business.
“The Mchikumbe 212 service offers information in dramatized and dialogue form format for greater engagement with farmers. “Users can access the service by simply dialling the short-code 212. In addition, users will be able to access the first 3 calls for free each month and will thereafter pay MK40 only for the fourth Call. All subsequent calls made thereafter in that month will be free of charge,” he explained.
Kamoto further said Mchikumbe212 is a basic application that will be accessible on simple mobile phones for people in rural areas across the country.
Among other things, Mchikumbe 212 will enable farmers to access good agricultural practices information on five different crops and livestock, namely maize, soya, groundnuts, poultry and sweet potatoes. Farmers can also access information about Airtel Money and will in the near future, also access basic financial literacy information which will assist them to calculate gross margins and determine the profitability of their farming as a business.
“This Mchikumbe212 product is evidence of our acknowledgement, as a brand, of the farmers need to access relevant information on essential agricultural practices aimed at consequently improving and increasing their yields,” Kamoto observed.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :