e-Soko project will be extended to 20 more markets bringing the total coverage to 70 markets countrywide, an official from the Ministry of Agriculture has said.
It is an electronic platform giving farmers, consumers and traders up-to-date market price information for commodities using mobile phones.
Through this, the public is able to follow price trends for commodities by enabling them to make informed decisions regarding production and marketing of their produce.
“We currently cover 50 markets, but we plan to add 20 more in our second phase of the e-Soko project implementation,” said Wilson Musonera, the e-Soko System Administrator.
People enjoying this service are connected to the MTN network and the system is open to everyone by sending an SMS using the 7656 code, to know the latest price of a particular commodity.
“The e-Soko application is in Kinyarwanda but we will introduce the English version before this year ends,” Musonera noted.
Musonera pointed out that the application has eliminated the use of middlemen who took advantage of farmers by dictating market prices.
Odette Batamuriza, an large scale potato farmer in Musanze District, said that e-Soko enabled her to know the prices of her products in various markets in the country.
“It has helped us a lot to compare the prices on the market by sending a free SMS using our mobile phones,” said Batamuriza, a trader at Kimironko market.
Jean Damascene Byiringiro, a cassava vendor at the same market stated that the application has helped them access market prices without being duped by buyers.
“This is a great initiative for us as entrepreneurs dealing in agricultural produce,” he said.