What are the most useful low cost technologies and services for small farmers in Africa, India, and Asia?
Here is a quick list of the innovations I can think of in agriculture in the developing world, particularly Africa:
• Fertilizer (is actually pretty huge–as much as triple yields)
• Crop insurance (micro-insurance)
• Crop storage for optimum pricing (One Acre is starting to do this)
• Radio broadcast for knowledge dissemination
• Mobile banking & payment (aka financial services)
• Mobile price notification (ie for market transparency & to save transportation time)
• Mobile for communication & coordination
• Water collection & storage
• Farming associations/cooperatives
• Self-help groups (SHGs) used with micro-finance products
• Product innovation (ie the use of strawberries & high end products)
• Research on farming best practices
• Help with marketing & supply chain & customers for farmers
One Acre Fund, International Development Enterprises (IDE), and Nuru International (partnered with OAF) and others are working in this space–along with ongoing work in the micro-finanace space by MFIs.
* Also various ways to perfect & improve the supply chain in food and agriculture.
** Obviously whatever interviews with farmers and stakeholders demonstrated in terms of need and gaps. One that might be helpful is planning for the future–although that would likely be included in other types of education or provision of services.
*** I really think the idea of marketing & supply chain are really underdeveloped.