Esoka, a for-profit company, collects data from multiple sources, mixing private-held data and government data. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) is the primary government source of data on crop yields, production estimates and market prices. Esoko is also a client of aWhere, accessing its weather data via an API service. Ultmiately, this data is pooled and shared with participating farmers so they can obtain vital information about markets and businesses.
Data is collected by Esoko through a variety of means, including accessing open government data and buying privately held data. Esoko was awarded an Internet.org innovation challenge prize, which helped establish these collaborations and create an automated alert system that Esoko offers to participating farmers. The alerts contain agrarian and economic data sent to farmers on their cell phones in the format of SMS and voice messages in multiple languages.
The ultimate objective of Esoko is to empower smallholder farmers to make farming more profitable. They do this by acquiring and sharing data to help farmers better navigate the complexity of global value chains. By doing so, these farmers can improve their bargaining power when cometing with some of the large, global actors in that system.