Upwardly “mobile”- technology for rural markets

One piece of technology which has revolutionized the world and the way we communicate with each other is the mobile phone. This technology has made the world closer and flatter.

We have a burgeoning mobile user base in India and across the world new applications of this technology are changing lives every day.

To see if this technology is actually creating new opportunities and  lasting changes at the Base of the Economic Pyramid (BoP)we looked at various examples of how normal people like us, have created innovative propositions and services, leveraging the mobile. Through our Innovations for Sustainability blog, we want to promote such innovations which are making this world a better place for everyone.

These are stories of innovation, grit, determination which have one thing in common, the mobile technology:

Africa: AMIS: Connecting Farmers in Cameroon, Africa to Information via Mobile Phones & SMS:

Watch this interview of a farmer, who traveled all the way from Africa to San Francisco, creating new opportunities for many like him in Africa and discussing the challenges and solutions:

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India: Farmers Using Mobile Phones to Control Irrigation at Remote Places:

TATA Teleservices is testing a technology called Nano Ganesh which allows farmers to use their mobile phones to monitor the irrigation pumps installed in far flung areas. Proper and continuous supply of electricity in many areas of the country is not available, hence the farmers have to walk down several kilometers, only to find that there is no electricity.

With such a device, the farmer can directly dial a code number and remotely monitor their pumps, usage of electricity and switch the pump on and off, sitting at their location. With content delivered in local language to the farmer, it becomes easier and convenient for the farmer to understand and act.

And this is not just about it. Farmers are also getting access to information about weather and also tips to what is the best crop they must sow in their region, depending upon the weather.

Kenya: The Equobility project:

Using SMS and and renewable energy technology the Equobility project offers people around the world at the BoP equal access to information and tools, they need to fully participate int he global marketplace. The SMS platform helps users, stay informed and make better decisions. The solar and bike pedal charger keeps the phone charged, which is a unique proposition for the BoP, where there may not be access to enough electricity, or electricity at all.

How can you take part and contribute to making a social impact?

The need for such emerging ideas and disruptive innovations to be given the right visibility is crucial. If you know of such motivated enterprises in the field of energy that are working for creating for profit solutions for the BoP in India, nominate them for The Global Energy Challenge. Your also stand to win a reward of USD 3,000.

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