Data and insurance — EcoFarmer: bundling information and financial services

For just €0.89 a year, EcoFarmer offers farmers membership of the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union, crop or livestock farming tips, weather indexed crop insurance and funeral insurance © Busani Bafana

Bumper ICT services, bumper harvests

Zimbabwe is a largely agrarian economy, with over 70% of the population predominantly dependent on agriculture and more than 60% of people living in rural areas. Econet is therefore in the process of developing a variety of additional services to help farmers trade and access savings via their mobile phones, as well as receive loans or other insurance products, leveraging their pre-existing bundle offers, such as EcoCash and EcoSure. “Econet has the widest network coverage in Zimbabwe and, with a customer base of over 10.2 million subscribers, we recognise that the mobile phone is a powerful tool for transforming livelihoods,” says Mboweni. “We have also recognised that the information gap is one of the key challenges which smallholder farmers face and our primary endeavour is to ensure that our farmers have farming advisory services through their mobile phones.”

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