AN mAGRICULTURE FRAMEWORK FOR AGRICULTURE INFORMATION SERVICES DELIVERY
Agriculture is an information intensive industry that is spatial in nature. For farmers to thrive, they must be generalists who are well versed in the latest farming technologies. Thus, farmers need to be well informed on the best agricultural practices, prime farming operation techniques, optimum methods of management, prevailing post harvest operations and transactions and so on. However, Nigerian and African agriculture in general is disadvantaged owing to factors that include: poor access to agriculture-related information, deficits in physical infrastructure, high transactional costs, digital divides, low literacy level, problems with availability of agricultural inputs to mention but a few. In this paper, we present an mAgriculture framework for agricultural information services delivery using the communication channels available on a feature phone. Features phones are easy to use and are increasingly able to bypass the barriers of illiteracy and affordability, and they provide access to a wide range of very useful services, such as transferring money, checking market prices, gathering weather information, obtaining personal agricultural extension and other professional advice. The three basic communication channels of feature phones employed by the developed framework are: voice, short message service (SMS) and Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) with the intent of providing a platform where farmers’ need of agriculture information could be met.