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Fishing meets texting in Banda Aceh

We continue our recent agriculture theme in this, the eighteenth in our series of FrontlineSMS guest posts. Here, Teddy Syahputra – a System Consultant at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Banda Aceh - talks about their use of the software, and how it is set to underpin a new nationwide SMS service in the country

“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in Banda Aceh (Indonesia) have been using FrontlineSMS for over two years, and recently it was deployed in a pilot project concentrated on the needs of local fishermen. Following the success of this early pilot, we are now implementing a nationwide project called Fish Marketing Information System (FMIS) to support the development of conducive and fair trade practices for economically competitive fish products from Aceh in the local, national, regional and international markets.

Image courtesy FMIS

The price information is processed by a computer-based system (primarily a website and MySQL database) using FrontlineSMS as the SMS gateway. Fish price information is being disseminated to fisherfolk, fish farmers, traders, processors and government agencies through a combination of SMS, local radio, the project website and local newspapers.

For the data collection we developed our own software – called “Enumerator” – and we provide each of the collectors with a handset with the software pre-installed. The software is easy to use, allowing the operator to insert the species name and the prices in pre-defined fields. “Enumerator” then binds the data into an SMS, which is then sent to FrontlineSMS for processing and passing into the database. Integration and implementation was easy thanks to FrontlineSMS’ powerful ‘keyword’ functionality.

FMIS and FrontlineSMSThe next phase of the project is to implement FrontlineSMS/FMIS throughout other provinces in Indonesia, but this time the Indonesian Government will be handling the SMS gateway in each province, and the local website.

This project has already helped hundreds of people in Indonesia, with many more to follow. FrontlineSMS has been invaluable in helping us achieve this. Not only is the software free, but it is incredibly easy to use – we downloaded it and had it working ourselves in no time. This ease-of-use is also essential if other districts are to be easily able to replicate what we have done here”.

Teddy Syahputra
National Information System Consultant
Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations
Banda Aceh, NAD – Indonesia
www.fao.org

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37 Responses to “Fishing meets texting in Banda Aceh”

  1. Paul Jones 15 December 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Another amazing use of the Frontline SMS software. The beauty is that it’s so easy to use and replicable, unlike some other solutions (I agree 200% with your user-focus, without which none of this would happen, clearly). Congrats Teddy!!

  2. Gene Ward 15 December 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Great stuff!

  3. Paul V. 15 December 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Love the way this software seamlessly integrates with other platforms. Amazingly accessible, a great model to follow :)

  4. Teddy Syahputra 16 December 2009 at 3:08 am #

    Thank you for the comments and supports…
    FrontlineSMS make Aceh’s people dreams come true…
    Bravo… o/

  5. ToughStuff 15 January 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Good Morning,
    We found your article very interesting and strongly related with what we do:
    Currently 1.4 billion people do not have access to grid-delivered electricity: For instance 75% of Uganda’s 30 million population. Low-income families in Uganda spend ($9) per month on their very basic requirements – kerosene, batteries and mobile phone charging. Such kerosene lamps produce significant soot, CO2 and noxious fumes; while thousands of people are burned (many of whom are children) and houses burn down when lamps catch fire. Also, low quality dry cell batteries for radios and torches chemically pollute the environment when they are thrown away.
    ToughStuff is a social enterprise which provides very affordable solar-powered products for low income people, replacing expensive and environmentally damaging alternatives (kerosene lamps and batteries). This results in a reduction of poverty, a significant reduction in CO2, removes the environmental damage of discarded batteries, enhances health and increases micro enterprise employment.
    ToughStuff is one of a new breed of businesses whose aims have a social and environmental return as well as financial. Such a triple-bottom-line business is sometimes described as a ‘for-more-than-profit’ organisation.
    ToughStuff has operations in Uganda, Madagascar, Kenya and other African countries. It is scaling up to respond to the massive needs in the wider sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Sub Continent.
    Our products:
    A personal size solar panel almost unbreakeable
    Mobile phone connectors (recharge most of mobiles phones used in Africa)
    Led Lamp (rechargeable, lasts up to 30 hours)
    Clever batteries (solar powered batteries for small appliance such as radios)
    PowerPack (to store power to run products when the sun is not out)
    We would be very happy to hear your comment on our videos:

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgqMqb0P43M
    If you are interested, please download our press pack (copy and paste the link into your browser)
    https://toughstuffonline.sharefile.com/d-s1968d9a6bb546809
    Or get in touch with us!


    Kindest Regards,

    Anna Verre

    Communication&Marketing Consultant

    ToughStuff International

    London Office:
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    SE1 7HS,
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    0044 751 83 72 383

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