31 January 2019 Addis Ababa – The Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA) and Save the Children in Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to use 8028 Farmers’ Hotline. The MoU was signed by Mr. Khalid Bomba, CEO of ATA and Mr. Ekin Ogutogullari, Country Director of Save the Children in Ethiopia with the presence of local media and senior staffs from both organizations.

“The information smallholder farmers getting through the 8028 Farmer’ Hotline platform is helping them to improve production and productivity,” said Mr. Khalid Bomba CEO of ATA speaking at the ceremony. “The integration of nutrition-sensitive agriculture messages will, therefore, enhance their health and nutritional status” he underscored.

Mr. Ekin Ogutogullari, Country Director of Save the Children in Ethiopia, on his part said “8028 is a smart and timely information dissemination tool and our partnership with ATA to use this platform will be useful to deliver nutrition-sensitive agriculture messages at scale through mobile Nutrition (m-Nutrition) approach.” Mr. Ogutogullari conclude “This will contribute to the dietary consumption behavior improvement of farmers.”

After the signing of the MoU, Elias Nure, Project team leader, ICT for Agricultural Services at ATA said that the use of ICT to expand information is a huge opportunity to support smallholder farmers. “I hope we will do our best to convey the necessary information to the target audience.” He concluded.

Daniel Abbot Chief of Party of Growth Through Nutrition at Save the Children acknowledged the importance of nutrition and Development Agents (DAs) play an important role in delivering the information. “We also hope our experience in previous projects will help us to excel in this partnership”

The hotline will be of use to deliver nutrition-sensitive agricultural messages in addition to its existing agricultural information dissemination.

The 8028 Farmers Hotline is an Interactive Voice Response/Short Message Service (IVR/SMS) system. It is a mobile platform ATA uses to provide smallholder farmers with information on a wide range of agricultural issues. This agreement, therefore, is to provide access to Save the Children to the 8028 platforms.  Hereafter, Save the Children will use the platform to provide Development Agents (DAs) with targeted information and advice on nutrition-sensitive agriculture. This development is expected to arm DAs with updated information that they can timely deliver to farmers. Furthermore, the DAs will be able to have access to a variety of resources to equip themselves with.