KTA’s flagship initiative is known as eMkambo – an interactive mobile, physical and web-based market for agriculture and rural development integrating the use of mobile phones and the internet to create, adapt and share knowledge. The word Mkambo refers to market in isiNdebele language. It has the same connotation in the Shona language though in Shona, the word Musika commonly refers to the market
One of the challenges facing Zimbabwean agriculture and rural development is lack of reliable, usable and timely information, evidence and knowledge for effective decision making. A significant part of the available information is either out-dated or dispersed in various institutions, people and environments. When projects and programmes by various NGOs, private sector players and other development organisations come to an end, in most instances, there is no clear mechanism for the knowledge that was gathered to be handed over and inform new initiatives. In addition, competition rather than collaboration among organisations in the same sector works against knowledge sharing.
1. A Mobile Short Message Service for agriculture value chain actors, riding on the proliferation of mobile phone services among farmers and other actors.
2. A web-based market providing information on all agriculture commodities, including commodity prices, inputs and other services.
3. eMkambo Perishable Finance model through which financial institutions can finance agriculture based on solid evidence from the market.
4. eMKambo Food science and processing which is there to reduce and minimise waste
5. Knowledge centre where agricultural actors get information about market trends and production knowledge
Major eMKambo activities
1. Building sustainable networks among traders, farmers, transporters, food chain stores, input suppliers and agro-dealers.
2. Providing technical assistance, training, advice on financial literacy, business and market intelligence.
3. Facilitating loan access to agricultural value chain actors.
4. Crafting sustainable business models inclusive of best practices from ‘informal’ agriculture traders.
5. Influencing policy in favour of marginalised agriculture value chain actors.
In summary eMKambo products comprise of :
These include information on prices, the weather, contact information of dealers, buyers and suppliers, farm tips and news.
These include analysis (trends, comparisons, etc.), question-and-answer services, call centres, brokerage, etc. Many of the services are based on analysing and interpreting the data above.
These are the platforms or mechanisms that make it possible to gather, process or deliver the information – rather than the information itself. They include the software, website, bulletin boards, etc.