The MODHEM project works to improve the incomes of pastoralists and farmers’ households in Burkina Faso by providing access reliable geo-satellite based data. The project targets 300,000 households and is implemented by SNV in partnership with Orange Burkina Faso, AGRHYMET/CILSS, Satelligence and the Ministry of Animal Resources of Burkina Faso. The MODHEM project is funded by the Netherlands Space Office (NSO).
Increasing incomes and populations in the cities of West Africa are growing the demand for meat and other agricultural products. This is a great opportunity for farmers and pastoralists in countries like Burkina Faso. At the same time, intensifying farmer production, expanding land-use and climate change are putting pressure on traditional production methods and pastoralist-farmer relationships.
The MODHEM project has established a telephone information service for pastoralists and farmer households that provides them with information on water and biomass availability, weather predictions and market prices. The service provides instant access to reliable information, based on satellite data and which tailor-made to farmers’ and pastoralists’ needs. The information will increase meat yields, prevent crop losses and reduce conflicts between pastoralists and farmers. The service will improve farmers and pastoralists decision-making power which gives them more predictability for their production, increasing their resilience and incomes.
The business model is sustainable as the service derives its income from income from sms messages sent and requests made to the call centre. The information is offered over simple mobile phones to subscribers against a modest fee to a call centre and text messages. The customers are either smallholder pastoralists that subscribe directly or companies, cooperatives and NGO’s that buy packages for their target group.
Within the project period, 100,000 pastoralists’ households and 200,000 farmers’ households in Burkina Faso will be given access to the information service. The target is an increase of income of least a 15% - for the farmers this is estimated at 10%.
For more information, see Herders avoid violence and drought with satellites (SciDev.Net).