Empowering Rural Farmers With Mobile Technology

I am sure many of you can’t imagine what life is like for the poorest rural farmers in Latin America, or how access to basic information like the weather or the going price for their crops can impact their lives.  But we can.  Grameen Foundation, is focused on providing the world’s poorest populations with access to financial services, information, and business opportunities to help fight global poverty.  Today in Colombia, we are gathering with our closest friends, partners and key influencers to announce our collaboration with MasterCard that will make use of mobile services to help Colombian farmers improve productivity and their quality of life.

Over the next year, with the support of MasterCard, we will begin conducting extensive research in the agriculture and mobile services industries, which will lead to the testing and piloting of mobile applications to more easily share information between rural farmers and the organizations that support them.  Ultimately, our collaboration will allow us to provide these farmers, new, cost-effective and innovative solutions, such as agriculture and financial decision-making tools. With these solutions, a smallholder farmer will be able to know the specific prices for his crops and the best weather conditions for planting and harvesting, without having to leave his land. Agricultural field officers will also be able to diagnose and track pests or diseases much more easily.

MasterCard employees will be able to get involved in this and other projects, remotely or on the ground, by committing their time, skills, and expertise to Grameen Foundation’s global volunteer initiative, Bankers Without Borders.

Watch the below video, where I discuss the benefits of our collaboration: