The West Africa AgriTrade Network provides information on the latest available prices from selected agricultural markets, buy and sell, news, contacts and other information required for commercial decision-making in all 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States.
Farmers can receive all this information via text message on their mobile phones.
For example, the Trade in Hand project provides daily price information for fruit and vegetable exports in Burkina Faso and Mali, while Manobi, a Senegalese telecom company, provides agricultural and fish price updates to subscribers.
Safaricom, the Kenyan mobile phone operator, also provides a text message service for farmers to access updates on commodities in markets direct from the Kenya agricultural commodity exchange. Traders can offer their goods for sale or place bids, as well as post short messages or questions on agricultural matters. Rural-based market information points help to extend the service to those farmers with limited access to mobile phones or computers.