Reaching 100,000 Pakistani Farmers Remotely Through a Unique Partnership
HarvestPlus is joining forces with Precision Agriculture for Development (PAD) in a new partnership to expand the reach of nutritious zinc-biofortified wheat in Pakistan by leveraging mobile communications to engage progressive and smallholder farmers.
PAD supports smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries by providing customized agricultural information and services through mobile devices. Recent statistics show that 47 percent of Pakistanis have a mobile phone, or have access to one through friends or family.
Working with PAD, HarvestPlus has designed a project to target Pakistani farmers in specific areas where seeds will be available and readily accessible. About 100,000 farmers will receive text messages on their mobile phones about the signs of and risks posed by zinc deficiency, the agronomic and nutritional benefits of zinc wheat, and the commercial benefits of zinc wheat to them, as well as information about the market for their surplus harvest where possible. Farmers will also receive a helpline number to call for more information and details. For those who do not have access to a mobile device, messages are expected to spread through community organizations, influential farmers and farmer organizations.