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Enhancing the Accessibility of Agritech Services through USSD Technology
Enhancing the Accessibility of Agritech Services through USSD Technology
Written by Diviniah Mbaire
Updated over a week ago


Smallholder farmers are the backbone of the agriculture industry and play a critical role in feeding the majority of the world's population. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), smallholders account for over 90% of the world's farms and produce up to 80% of the food in many developing countries. Despite their crucial role, smallholder farmers face significant challenges, including limited access to finance, markets, and information, which hinder their ability to increase productivity and improve their livelihoods. However, Agritech companies are now rising to the occasion, leveraging technology to provide solutions that address the unique needs of smallholder farmers.

Challenges Faced by Agritech Companies

Despite the significant progress made by Agritech companies in providing solutions to smallholder farmers, there are still significant challenges that need to be overcome. These challenges include:

  • Limited access to technology and the internet in rural areas, where many smallholder farmers reside. This challenge hinders the adoption of digital solutions such as mobile applications, which require a stable internet connection to operate optimally.

  • A gap in digital literacy among smallholder farmers, who may not be familiar with how to operate complex mobile applications or access digital platforms. This makes it difficult for Agritech companies to effectively communicate with smallholder farmers and educate them on the benefits of their solutions.

  • Language barrier - Agritech companies may not have the necessary language skills to communicate effectively with smallholder farmers in local languages. This can limit the organization’s ability to tailor their solutions to the specific needs of farmers and to develop trust and rapport with the farming community.

It is crucial to acknowledge the challenges faced by smallholder farmers in accessing technology-based solutions and to work towards developing solutions that are tailored to their unique needs. By doing so, Agritech companies can effectively address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and support them in improving their productivity and livelihoods.

Leveraging USSD Technology

Agritech organizations have increasingly turned to USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), a mobile communication technology, as an efficient way to provide their services to smallholder farmers. USSD has gained popularity due to several reasons that make it an ideal solution for overcoming the challenges faced by smallholder farmers. Here are some of the reasons:

  • Accessibility: USSD technology does not require internet connectivity or a smartphone. This is particularly important for smallholder farmers who may lack access to digital devices and internet connectivity. With USSD, farmers can easily access and interact with Agritech services through their basic feature phones, making it a widely accessible technology.

  • Highly interactive: Allows for real-time two-way communication between Agritech companies and smallholder farmers. The interactive nature of USSD also allows for immediate feedback, enabling Agritech companies to quickly identify and address any issues faced by farmers.

  • Scalability: Allows Agritech companies to reach a large number of smallholder farmers simultaneously making it the ideal technology for companies looking to scale their services and reach more farmers in remote areas.

  • Cost-effective: USSD applications are cheaper to develop and maintain than other digital channels and have a pay-as-you-go model making it suitable for companies with limited financial resources and need to carefully manage their expenses.

  • User-friendly: Requires minimal training, making it easy to use by farmers who may not have extensive experience using digital technologies.

  • Low latency and real-time processing capabilities: This makes it highly responsive even in low connectivity environments enabling farmers to access Agritech services without experiencing frustrating delays or connectivity issues.

  • Security: USSD is highly secure, ensuring the confidentiality of farmers' personal and financial information. This is a critical consideration for smallholder farmers who may be hesitant to share their personal information due to concerns about data privacy and security.

Overall, the simplicity, interactivity, security, and scalability of USSD make it the perfect technology for Agritech companies to use to overcome the challenges faced by smallholder farmers. With the use of USSD technology, they can effectively deliver their services, provide personalized support to farmers, and ultimately contribute to the improvement of their livelihoods.

How Can Mteja Help?

Mteja is a cloud telephony solutions provider that enables businesses to structure and automate their customer engagements over mobile channels channel such as IVR/Call-center, USSD, and SMS.

Our USSD solution can empower Agritech businesses to create interactive menus that farmers and other stakeholders can access from their mobile phones. This would enable them to provide their services, critical information, and farming tips to farmers who may not have access to the internet.

By using Mteja's USSD solution, Agritech businesses can improve their communication and engagement with farmers, promote better decision-making, and ultimately increase productivity and profitability in the sector.

Benefits of Using Mteja’s USSD Solution

Mteja offers a range of features that make it the most suitable USSD provider for businesses looking to engage with their customers at scale. These features include:

  • Customization: Mteja's USSD solution allows for complete customization of the user interface, making it possible to create unique and engaging experiences for your customers.

  • No technical knowledge required: Designed to be user-friendly and does not require any technical expertise, making it accessible to individuals without any coding experience. This feature saves businesses time and resources, allowing them to focus on their core activities rather than worrying about technical requirements.

  • Integration capabilities: Integrates easily with other systems and platforms, making it simple to incorporate into your existing business processes.

  • Scalability: The platform is highly scalable, making it suitable for businesses to easily scale their USSD services to reach a wider audience without worrying about system downtime or slow response times.

  • Reporting and Analytics: Provides detailed analytics and reporting, giving businesses the insight they need to make data-driven decisions and improve customer experiences.

  • Multi-language support: Supports multiple languages, making it accessible to customers from diverse backgrounds.

Overall, Mteja's USSD solution provides an innovative and cost-effective way for Agritech businesses to meet various needs in their operations.

Here are some use cases:

  1. Access to market prices: Provide smallholder farmers with up-to-date market prices for their crops and livestock, enabling them to make informed decisions about when and where to sell.

  2. Weather information: Share weather forecasts and alerts with smallholder farmers, to help them plan their farming activities and mitigate risks associated with extreme weather conditions.

  3. Access to finance: Provide smallholder farmers with access to microfinance services, including loans, savings, and insurance products.

  4. Extension services: Avail extension services, such as advice on crop management, pest control, and soil fertility, to smallholder farmers.

  5. Training and education: Facilitate training and education programs for smallholder farmers, such as training on improved farming techniques, marketing, and financial management.

  6. Input supply: USSD can be used to facilitate the distribution of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, to smallholder farmers.

  7. Monitoring and evaluation: Collect data on smallholder farmers' activities and provide real-time monitoring and evaluation of programs and interventions aimed at improving their productivity and livelihoods.


In conclusion, USSD technology can empower Agritech companies to provide farmers with vital information and services that can help them enhance their yields and increase their incomes. By doing so, Agritech companies can drive agricultural development in Africa and empower smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods. To learn more about how Mteja's USSD solution can help your Agritech business, sign up for a free trial today.

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