Delivering digital power to farmers and miners in Ghana

Solidaridad continues its efforts to deliver cutting-edge technology services to small-scale farmers and miners. A partnership with Viamo is rolling out innovative digital tools that foster sustainable and responsible agricultural and mining production in Ghana.

A miner in Ghana receives an IVR message as part of Solidaridad’s digital resources project.

Solidaridad has partnered with Viamo, a global enterprise that leverages mobile technology to deploy services to hard-to-reach communities. The partnership will serve farmers and artisanal small-scale miners (ASM) in Ghana under Solidaridad’s Pathways to Prosperity (P2P) and Acting Now programmes.

The partnership has the potential to amplify Solidaridad’s reach and impact, particularly in remote areas, where access to information and resources can be limited. Through Viamo’s digital systems, Solidaridad expects to provide 80,000 farmers and miners with information and extension services. 

Solidaridad’s adoption of these innovative solutions showcases our commitment to harnessing technology for the benefit of our farmers and miners.

Bossman Owusu, Country Representative of Solidaridad Ghana
Farmers in Ghana make use of Solidaridad’s digital resources.

The services to be offered via Viamo include an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system in local languages. Farmers and miners with basic mobile phones will have access to personalised advice, weather updates, market prices, and agricultural and mining techniques. Additionally, pre-recorded messages will share timely and critical information on production practices for sustainable crop cultivation and responsible mining.

Participants in the P2P and Acting Now programmes will also receive SMS messages with daily tips on good agronomic practices and responsible mining practices. The SMS campaigns allow Solidaridad to send targeted messages to specific groups of farmers and ASM miners, providing them with tailored information based on their needs and location.

A cocoa farmer in Ghana receives an IVR message regarding the harvested cocoa crop.

Mobile solutions, like Viamo, ensure that farmers and miners in remote areas can fully benefit from advisory services. The technology also allows for more frequent contact, as opposed to face-to-face trainings that can be hindered by poor accessibility or travel conditions.  

“By embracing digital solutions, we are not only expanding our reach but also empowering farmers with the knowledge and resources they need to thrive,” said Bossman Owusu, Country Representative of Solidaridad Ghana. 

As an added benefit, the digital solutions will also cater to urban home farmers. An integrated chatbot on WhatsApp will allow urban farmers to simply use  a designated number to access information and answers to questions requiring an instant response. The tool will also be used to conduct surveys to measure the adoption of best practices by farmers and miners.

IVR allows farmers to access digital resources in their first language.

For his part, Nii Lante, Country Director of Viamo, indicated that the partnership between Solidaridad and Viamo exemplifies the importance of technology in agricultural and mining landscapes. He goes on to say that by harnessing the power of digital solutions, farmers and miners can overcome geographical barriers and gain access to vital information that can significantly impact their livelihoods and their communities.

Pathways to Prosperity and Acting Now

Solidaridad’s Pathways to Prosperity programme ensures that producers at the beginning of global value chains can thrive by participating in supply chains that are economically profitable, socially responsible and environmentally sound. The project fosters good production practices, better market access and better service provision. Pathways to Prosperity is a seven-year programme (2023-2029) made possible with the financial support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Acting Now programme, which is funded by the Government of the Netherlands, supports producers as they build resilient farms and food systems that foster independence, respond to economic challenges, and prepare urban populations for future climate change impacts.