Project to extend rural telecommunication piloted by Vodacom Business

Vodacom has partnered with Agri SA to launch an initiative that will connect the rural folk in South Africa and Agri SA members with telecommunication avenues.

The agreement follows a resolution adopted by Agri SA’s congress in 2011, whereby they were instructed to investigate alternative telecommunication systems for rural users.

Agri SA is a body that aims to support the farming community in South Africa and it does this by implementing development friendly policies.

Chris Lazarus, Managing Executive, Vodacom Business Services said that this is an opportunity to extend Vodacom’s voice and data services in the rural areas.

Johannes Möller, President of Agri SA said the deterioration of rural fixed-line telephone infrastructure means that effective telecommunication in various regions has become virtually impossible especially with regards to gaining access to the Internet, email facilities and, recently, also voice.

“Needless to say that for farmers and the rural community at large, telecommunication is important for transactional purposes as well as for security reasons,” he added.

Johannes underlined the importance of Agriculture to the economy of the country and that farmers would need cutting-edge technology that would help them in their business.

Johannes also was confident that Vodacom was the right partner to bring these services to Agri SA members and the rural population as a whole.

“We believe that Vodacom is well positioned to provide the necessary services to not only our members but also the wider rural community who are largely dependent on agriculture for their livelihood,” he said.

Other farming initiatives that combine with the power of technology have been witnessed in Africa before. In Kenya an app named, Mkulima Calculator helps farmers plan well for their plantation through the provision of statistics through the mobile phone.

Similar apps include MFarm that also gives information on prices and sales of farm produce, on a real time basis.

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