The Mobile Solutions for Marginalised Communities (MOSMAC) is one of the Southern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (SA RILab) innovation projects implemented in Beitbridge, Zimbabwe by a student from the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. The project falls under the Resilience Innovation Challenge for Food Security and Improved Income Generation (RIC4FIG) pathway 3 (Transform agricultural practices and markets for resilience).
The problem addressed
Beitbridge small scale rural farmers’ livelihoods are dependent on livestock trading, yet they face many challenges in livestock marketing, coordinating agricultural sales and dissemination of information on prices and market requirements. Private buyers and third parties have duped small scale and subsistence farmers in rural areas by paying sub-economic prices.
The major aim is to introduce farmers, especially in marginalised areas, to Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and e-business for improved income generation and food security at household level. This will be achieved through improved knowledge of small scale farmers and community members that will be facilitated by the dissemination of information through mobile phones. The project will also be critical in improving current communication infrastructure within Beitbridge.
The project will improve the efficiency of livestock sales thereby increasing the income that small scale farmers will generate from livestock sales and ultimately increase disposable income and food security at household and community levels. Through the educational content being disseminated it is expected that farmers will have improved knowledge and increased access to market information leading to profitable transactions. In addition, the project will also impact on the following:
- Changed auction approach, saving time and farmers communication enhanced,
- Farmer alerts on prices, community alerts on missing livestock (lost and found) stray animals, and
- Capacity building through provision of educational content, improved farmer networking.