DIGITAL FOOD SYSTEMS EVIDENCE CLEARING HOUSE
Food system component(s):
Food system activity/ies:
Type(s) of digital intervention:
The first short message service (SMS) system in Mongolia that delivers weather forecast and agricultural information to herders in remote rural areas.
Herders in Mongolia have traditionally depended on generalized and sometimes inaccurate weather information from TV and radio to prepare their herds for extreme weather conditions such as snow, dust storm and heavy rain.
To provide more accurate and timely weather information, Mercy Corps has developed a mobile messaging system that provides sub-district level weather and forage information directly to herders’ mobile phones. The SMS system delivers on-demand weather and pasture forage updates in response to text prompts from users. In 2018, Mercy Corps expanded the SMS on-demand service to include market price information for feed and fodder in order to help herders easily compare prices and ultimately make savings.
Estimated number of active users:
- At inception:
- At time of last report: 20000
Evidence of impact
According to an assessment conducted by Mercy Corps, more than 90% of the respondents had experienced positive changes as result of using the SMS weather forecast information, while 9% were able to make savings. Even though herders were the main target of this technology, it quickly had a multiplier effect. Over time, a wide range of actors from various sectors started using the SMS system to plan ahead of time. For example, district (soum) doctors now use the information for better planning purposes before they travel to rural areas for emergency service provision.