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Manobi launches in Senegal a free-access SMS market information service
With “Xam Marsé”, the latest market information system on SMS and the Internet developed by Manobi, the, Senegalese farmers, traders, hoteliers or housewives can now receive everyday, on their telephone, a free SMS containing information on the product of their choice on any selected market.

In conjunction with Sonatel, Manobi has successfully introduced in Africa the use of the mobile phone by producers as an information and interaction tool for their production and marketing industry. The Senegalese producers, fishermen, traders, local authorities, and also companies have found out how to break out of their isolation and remedy their lack of information and low competitiveness thanks to the mobile phone and services tailored to suit their local needs.

Manobi’s information system on fruits and vegetables (SIM) accessible by GSM-Data has enabled the farmers of the Niayes - a market gardening area in the West of Senegal- to increase their sale prices negotiated from their fields or on the markets by over 50% per year. Overall, the development of this SIM use on the mobile brings an annual income of CFA F 10 billion from the 7,000 ha cultivated in the Niayes area, which can immediately be used by the beneficiaries to take care of their own social and economic development.

Likewise, the same services are used by the most informed traders and middle-men to maximise their trips and efficiently choose the markets where to sell their goods.

Manobi launches this free service to increase access to strategic information for the Senegalese small agricultural and agro-industrial operators. The Senegalese Ministry of Commerce has decided to support its launching operation organised on the World Telecommunications Day.

“We think that access to information is a basic right. Market information on prices, consignments, and demand of fresh products must be given to all producers and to the rural population in order to immediately build their capacities in (i) seizing the market opportunities, (ii) increasing their income (ii) choosing their path of development and (v) naturally take care of the more sophisticated services which they think necessary to speed up their economic and social development” says Daniel Annerose, the General Manager of Manobi.

As for free access Xam Marsé, “The sponsoring will cover the cost of the message transmission to ensure the sustainability of the service and make sure it remains free of charge for the producers.” says Daniel Annerose. The first sponsors who joined this initiative are the Senegalese Agricultural Credit Fund, Sonatel and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Manobi is an operator of value added services on GSM whose headquarters are in Montpellier, France. In 2003 it established with the Sonatel Group, a Senegalese subsidiary which operates mobile data channels and provides professional services on GSM. It has just opened a new subsidiary in South Africa where it win the award of “Top African ICT Company of the Year”

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