Mark Davis, Esoko CEO
Mark Davis, Esoko CEO

Esoko, a private company that provides information and communication service to farmers, has added expert network of agronomists to its Farmer Helpline to boost operators? ability to propel?more complex issues straight to experts.

Mark Davis, Esoko CEO
Mark Davis, Esoko CEO

Answers would be given to farmers within 24 hours of their initial calls.

In 2014, with the generous support of USAID, Esoko launched Ghana?s first Farmer Helpline.

Under the helpline, farmers anywhere in the country can simply call 1900 on any network and be immediately connected with experienced agricultural officers.

Information is provided on market prices, weather forecast, buyers, pests, diseases, land preparation, storage, transport and market in 12 local languages such as Dagaari, Sisale, Gonja, Twi and Dagbani.

Since the launch, the helpline has received over 10,000 calls.

The new expert network is made up of 15 professionals from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research, Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, Ghana Meteorological Agency and a number of private sector specialists.

These professionals collectively represent 20 key value chains and over 220 years of combined experience, providing the best service possible is the rationale behind the creation of the network.

Esoko Chief Executive Officer, Mark Davis, at the launch of the Expert Network on Friday in Accra, said farmers needed information to enhance their production capability, which would easily be accessed through the Esoko Farmers Helpline.

He said the technology platform afforded experts in the field of agriculture the channel to share their knowledge and skills with the nation?s farmers.

He said testimonies from beneficiary farmers across the nation were very encouraging.

Mary Naah, Esoko Helpline Manager, said: ?Since we opened up to the public we have been receiving interesting and varying requests; the common ones have to do with price information and weather updates. But we also get requests about soil fertility, pest and disease control.?

She said: ?One farmer in the Northern Region called about the leaves of his rice crops changing colour from green to yellow with spots and wanted to know how to fix it.

?We escalated the problem to a crop disease pathologist, who then called the farmer back and gave him the solution; who in turn was able to fix the disease.?

Dr Edmund K. Sallah, one of the experts on behalf of his colleagues, commended Esoko for giving them the platform to communicate their knowledge and expertise to the nation?s farmers.

He lauded Esoko for complementing government?s efforts in boosting agriculture production in the country.

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