TSF is to maintain its presence among Nigerien farmers



Pioneering system to collect, receive and process agricultural and livestock market data in the regions of Dakoro, Bermo and Say




Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF), in cooperation with Vétérinaires sans Frontières Belgium (VSF-B) alongside the Information System on Livestock Markets (SIMB) and the Information System on Agricultural Markets (SIMA), has finalised its pilot rural development project in Niger which was put in place in September 2012.

TSF has provided support to the agricultural sector as well as livestock farming in the regions of Bermo, Say and Dakoro by putting in place a pioneering system which allows its users to gather and broadcast information. Seventeen data collectors, each equipped with a Smartphone, use the mobile internet network to transmit, in real time, different forms containing the prices of various foodstuffs (millet, corn, rice, peanuts, black-eyed peas, to name but a few) from 16 markets. The data is sent to the SIMA and SIMB; who in turn, broadcast the information via the local radio stations and the IT Cup Centre in Dakoro. For this, TSF has specially developed a previously unseen application which allows the various forms to be sent via the GSM network when the mobile internet network is out of service.

Niger is a predominantly rural country where the agricultural sector represents about 40% of GDP. A large part of the country's work force (nearly 90% of the population) is employed in agriculture, hence the importance of supporting this major economic sector.

TSF supports the rural development in Niger through the implementation of an unprecedented system of information exchange on agricultural and livestock markets, using Smartphones.


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Pilot project target areas: Bermo, Say and Dakoro.


The community centre created by TSF in Dakoro in 2007 plays an essential role in the processing of data from the two information systems of livestock (SIMB) and agriculture (SIMA) markets.

Main objectives: 

• Fight against food insecurity in Niger;

• Facilitate decision making and reinforce local farmers' and breeders' abilities to negotiate;
• Improve local workers' efficiency thanks to the use of ICT.


Specific objectives:

• Transfer the collected data by mobile internet;
• Transfer the collected data by SMS when the mobile internet network is unavailable;
• Process immediately the data on virtual servers;
• Broadcast the latest market information via local radio stations.

Final results:

• Overall success rate for information transfer: 87%
• Real-time data transfer, reducing the time needed to send and process information;
Training of workers in the use of the Smartphones, the data collection system and information processing;
Up-to-date information broadcast over the radio twice weekly and in four different local languages.


Success rate of sending forms:




TSF Research & Development:

Télécoms Sans Frontières and the various partners involved in the project led a discussion on the outlook of the information system in terms of future emergency actions and development in Niger.

Following the trials carried out by the data collectors, the use of Smartphones has considerably helped ease work in the rural communities. Overall, the satisfaction survey has shed light on the importance of this system which responds to a real need amongst the population. 99% of the people interviewed said that the information broadcast on local radio was highly useful to them.

1 (1)The partners wish to pursue and broaden the project into other regions of Niger. It is for this reason that this last mission was also the chance for TSF to introduce its pioneering system to various backers and NGOs interested in the project.


Unstable climate conditions, the economic crisis and the lack of ICT infrastructure heavily affect farmers in Niger. Because of the lac of efficient information transmission on market pricesproducers often sell at a loss, which worsens their financial situation.


Through this network, investigators collect information on foodstuff prices and send them to network managers in real time, whereas before this operation took a lot of time. In November 2012 TSF has provided investigators with Smartphones containing the ODK collect application and a form suitable for data collection. They allow them to transmit essential economic and technical information which will then be broadcasted by local radio stations.


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This system aims to facilitate the decision-making of Nigerien producers and breeders to buy and sell their goods at a price better suited to market requirements. The implementation of information diffusion network also helps to strengthen the capacity of local producers informing them on the demand and thereby increasing their reactivity and adaptability to price variations. This technology integrated into the governmental mechanism of information collection will strengthen the sustainability of this project. It is thus the first pilot project providing Smartphones to local actors, which significantly contributes to the reduction of the digital divide in the country.


16With this innovative project, TFS is extending the use of ICTs to prevent potential food crises in Niger. Indeed, regular monitoring of agricultural and livestock markets allows producers and local farmers to reduce the impact of food insecurity.

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