e-Livelihood in Africa
www.iConnect-online.org is a knowledge sharing platform for Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in sustainable development. iConnect draws content from its partners, links resources and expertise and encourages collaboration. For the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), the host of iConnect, this is a way to share experiences, lessons learned and ideas, and interact with communities and people with an interest in development and the applications of ICTs. These experiences can lead to a better understanding of the actual benefits of ICTs for Development (ICT4D). The core of iConnect will be a series of locally written articles on the impact and the use of ICTs for development. The articles have a strong focus on fact finding; objective information on ICT4D practices from a southern perspective: Southern content written by Southern people. i4d is the iConnect partner for Asia, disseminating the articles to their readers. For the full text of the articles, please visit www.iconnect-online.org.
CROMABU: enhancing market opportunities for small farmers in Mwanza, Tanzania
By Aloyce Menda
In 2001 the Crop Marketing Bureau (CROMABU) project was designed to gather and disseminate relevant information regarding crop prices in local and international markets. Basically the project is aimed at empowering small-scale farmers economically by enhancing their access to price information in trade flows. While stakeholders in the agricultural sector are demanding the government to ensure a fair-competition policy, for agricultural marketing and distribution, CROMABU (www.cromabul.com) is leveling the ground by use of modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to empower farmers. Based in Magu area of Mwanza near to the southern shores of Lake Victoria, the four-year old CROMABU project is supported by the Dutch International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD).
According to CROMABU manager Ms. Naomi Massele, a professional agriculturalist with experience in management of rural agricultural and industrial projects, CROMABU comprises three components. These are the Internet Caf