Mobile communications can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050. The 12 specific opportunities explored in this study could increase agricultural income by around US$138 billion across 26 of Vodafone’s markets in 2020.
They could also cut carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 5 mega tonnes (Mt) in these markets and reduce freshwater withdrawals for agricultural irrigation by 6%, with significant savings in water-stressed regions. These benefits assume there will be around 549 million mobile connections to relevant services in 2020. This report aims to stimulate the necessary engagement between mobile operators, governments, NGOs and businesses to realise these opportunities and explore others.
Benefits The opportunities studied here would improve the efficiency of the agriculture and food sectors as well as helping to raise the incomes of millions of poor farmers in developing countries. Increased efficiency is also expected to lead to fewer food losses – an important aspect of meeting the world’s growing demand for adequate and affordable supplies of nutritious food. These mobile services enable companies to access and interact directly with different participants in the value chain, helping to build visibility of issues, capacity and quality. They will support company sustainability objectives, and in particular, progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals by helping to reduce poverty, improve health and increase funding for education. The greatest potential benefits can be generated by enabling mobile financial payments and mobile information provision, each delivering almost 40% of the total estimated increase in agricultural income.
Mobile services can enable companies to access and interact directly with different participants in the value chain.