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AgriTech Company in Ghana Sends Vital COVID-19 Info to Locals Via Voice Message

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Ghanaian agritech company, Farmerline has sent WHO COVID-19 information to over 18,000 smallholder farmers across 32 districts in Ghana in the wake of the pandemic. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVID-19 messages – which were originally available in the English language on the Internet – have been translated into Twi, Ga, Fante, Hausa, Dagbani, Nzema and Gonja.

Farmerline’s software, Mergdata, which is normally used to provide weather, market and agronomic updates to farmers is doubling as a platform for sharing these voice messages to smallholder farmers across Ghana.

“Before Ghana instituted the lockdown, we had begun recruiting and working with volunteers to record WHO COVID-19 voice messages in local languages. These messages are sent directly to smallholder farmers in rural communities through their mobile phones in order to bridge the knowledge and communication gap,” says CEO of Farmerline, Alloysius Attah.

To date, Farmerline has sent almost 67,205 minutes of free factual information explaining what the coronavirus is, how it spreads, the symptoms to look out for and who is most at risk. They also detail how farmers can protect themselves from it and what to do if farmers or members of their family fall sick.

Speaking to what inspired the company to take these actions, Attah explained that “when people get information in the language they can relate to, they are able to assimilate it and adopt new practices faster.”

Over the past years, the company has leveraged their technology to digitize farms and provide education, finance and market access to over half a million farmers across 16 countries.

Edited by Jenna Delport
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