Archive for September, 2011

During SOCAP 2011, we talked with many people from around the world who saw the universal applicability of our Notore pilot program, which we launched earlier this year in Northern Nigeria. All of these conversations served to validate our mobile platform as an affordable, effective solution to bettering the lives of subsistence farmers and others, regardless of where they live. Here are some of the highlights:

- A woman from Thailand said our efforts to support farmers in Taraba State would work just as well and be just as valuable in her country. Why? Because she’s having similar difficulties reaching remote villages there and convincing farmers to use agricultural inputs. Simply put: As in Taraba State, the farmers in Thailand lack access and information.

- A woman supporting farming in the South American rain forest is attempting to steer farmers away from environmentally destructive agricultural methods, such as slash-and-burn, toward more environmentally sensitive ones. The problem, however, is that crop yields falter when farmers take the latter course; as a result, there’s no incentive to protect the rain forest. What’s needed, then, is a better supply chain which not only includes access to fertilizers and other yield-enhancing products, but also the means by which farmers can sell their products. Once again, it’s a question of creating a network that connects these farmers with the larger world, where they would function as both consumers and sellers. This would benefit the entire supply chain, while improving the lives of the farmers and the environment.

One other note: We also met an affordable housing advocate who felt our mobile platform could be applied to the construction industry. We’ll detail this fascinating conversation in a post next week.

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That’s how SlimTrader’s MoBiashara service works for our client, Aero, Nigeria’s largest discount airline. As you see, it’s an efficient, a convenient, and a simple way to book a flight. All you need is a phone and a destination, and we take care of the rest.

But what about other transportation sectors? What about people who can’t afford to fly? Can SlimTrader adjust MoBiashara to fit these needs?

The answer: Yes. The beauty of our service is that it can be tailored to fit any transportation company’s needs, as well as any consumer’s, regardless of his or her economic status. The latter point is an important one, because so many Africans cannot get accurate, current information on their long-haul transportation options. This leads to long searches and wasted money. Why? Because for BOP consumers time is, literally, money.

Herein lies SlimTrader’s reason for being: to bring progress and promise to every African citizen.

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