Smallholder farmers to report prices from smartphones

Image credit: Neil Palmer, CIAT

World Food Programme (WFP) has recently piloted a new price monitoring system in El Salvador. Of WFP's Purchase for Progress (P4P) programme, selected supported farmers have been provided with smartphones and technical training on how to report updates on their crop sales and current farm-gate prices. This innovative system also allows smallholder farmers to benefit from the data when taking marketing decisions.

WFP launched the new price monitoring system in order to obtain a better understanding of the different marketing options available to smallholder farmers. In essence, the system will capture the volumes sold and the prices obtained by farmers in different markets, such as local markets, farm-gate selling and marketing through farmers’ organisations. El Salvador is the first of four target countries to pilot the new system. A data collection application for smartphones has been specifically designed for the trial.


To date, there has been no conclusive evidence clearly indicating that collective marketing through farmers’ organisations is an efficient way to address failures in agricultural markets. As a result, the P4P Mid-Term Evaluation (2011) recommended P4P to “implement a practical system for quickly collecting farm-gate prices”. This innovative tool is a product of that recommendation. The system, developed and designed by WFP, aims to fill a gap in the current market data collection and enhance the understanding of farmers’ marketing choices. 

In the coming weeks, the pilot system will be launched in Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania. 

  • Read more in the original article from P4P.

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