In the Caribbean Region, despite the generally high use of mobile phones, smart phones and other ICT devices, their use in Agricultural Marketing and Communication is not completely widespread. There is a huge amount of room for growth of this technology in the sector.
For example in Africa’s Agricultural industry, simple mobile phones and computer hub stations are a common occurrence. Extension programmes, research officer, government institution and private businesses and investors utilize the mobile network to facilitate the proliferation of ag-information and vice versa. However there is the need for the maintenance of this critical device.
Like every other device it needs energy.
Therein lies the creation of Solar powered adapters for mobile phones. It is not a new concept nor does it sound strange as we all know the sun provides us with limitless energy. So it follows that through the greater use of such critical hand held devices that a suitable energy source be applied.
Unfortunately there is the issue of cost. In africa it is proposed that cell charger stations be applied similar to the concept of computer hub stations. Nonetheless, large scale investment is need.
This information according to the Science and Development Network: http://www.scidev.net/en/new-technologies/icts/news/solar-charging-micro-firms-could-solve-mobile-energy-gap.html; They report “Solar -Powered charging stations could address a “significant unmet need” in rural areas that are not connected to the national grid, saving people time and money they would otherwise spend travelling to charge their phones.
But access to initial funds remains a challenge, says the report ‘Phone Charging Micro-businesses in Tanzania and Uganda’, published by the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP), a non-profit organisation that tries to harness entrepreneurship to open up energy for the poor. There are 78 phone charging entrepreneurs in Tanzania, 28 in Kenya and 26 in Uganda, the report says, but there is opportunity for expansion.
By 2015, 40 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and South-East Asia, and the Middle East will have more people with access to a mobile network than have access to electricity at home — according to the Cisco Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast for 2010–2015.”