Mobile phones boost vegetable marketing in Ethiopia


Onion from Koga irrigation scheme prepared for distant market through the mobile phone service (Photo:ILRI Yigzaw Dessalegne) Onions from the Koga irrigation scheme prepared for distant markets (Photo:ILRI Yigzaw Dessalegne)

Ethiopia has diversified agro-ecology with altitudes ranging from 200 meters below sea level to 4,260 meters above sea level, various soil types and different seasons. This has enabled Ethiopian farmers to produce and supply different types of fresh vegetables throughout the year. Vegetables produced in the north are marketed in the south, west or east and vice versa.

Unlike in developed countries, the majority of vegetables in Ethiopia are transported and stored at room temperature. These poor transportation and storage methods result in high post-harvest losses and subsequently trigger daily market price oscillation. As a result, vegetable traders in Ethiopia, both at high and low level, take time and great care in monitoring vegetable varieties and prices across the country daily, often using their mobile phones, so that they only buy the small quantities they need for short periods.

Some traders buy their vegetables and collect them from…

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