A mobile app developed by local entrepreneurs in partnership with a mobile operator is unlocking a vital link between farmers and their markets.
Lima Links is a software mobile platform which will help Zambian smallholder farmers connect with input suppliers and markets.
Zambian Agriculture minister Dora Siliya said Lima Links holds huge potential for small-scale farmers to increase production.
“The growth potential of smallholder farmers has continued to be undermined by lack of information, something which made them vulnerable to unscrupulous middlemen. This app helps to eliminate the undesirable briefcase grain traders as farmers will have access to market information on their fingertips,” Siliya said.
She says the app will also lower the cost of running a farm, as it cuts down on travel for farmers who will be able to access both input and output markets.
The app can be downloaded on a basic mobile handset and transactions are conducted on Airtel Money, a wireless money transfer system operated by Airtel.
Lima Links operations manager Richard Yona said his company is motivated by the desire to reduce wastage in the agricultural sector arising from information and logistical bottlenecks.
“There are a number of bottlenecks in the agricultural sector and this app helps solve some of the major ones, including the cost of travel, market accessibility and price transparency,” Yona said.
Airtel Money country director Christopher Chileshe said his company collaborated with Lima Links developers as it recognised agriculture as a leading sector in the country’s growth.