Improving farmers’ livelihoods by providing them with agricultural and market information through SMS, enabling them to increase their productivity and revenue

Sibjan Chaulagain

Growing up in Nepal with farmers for parents, Sibjan became a first-hand witness of the struggles faced by those working in agriculture. Many farmers in Nepal are unable to earn sufficient income throughout the year, because they lack information about weather changes, market prices and crops diagnostic – which leads to the crops dying and the farmers losing their income. Sibjan left his village to study engineering and when he came back he noticed how often the questions asked by farmers were left unanswered, as no one had the right information to provide.

Sibjan took part in SE Forum’s SE Outreach Accelerator in 2016.


Creating SMILES

To solve this problem, Sibjan came up with the project “ICT for Agriculture”, as a part of the organization Creating SMILES, Building the Nation. It’s an SMS service that provides farmers with relevant agricultural information. Creating SMILES targets agricultural cooperations, NGOs and agribusinesses, all of which have registered farmers in their networks. These cooperations pay to get access to Creating SMIILES’ interface, including their bank of information on weather forecasts, crop and animal diseases, fertilizer requirements and market prices. They also buy sms credits and then send out relevant info to their farmer network. The farmers can also contact them directly to ask questions. The most common questions relate to market prices and weather forecast during monsoon periods. Creating SMILES, Building the Nation is ready to scale ICT for Agriculture to benefit all farmers in Nepal. The SE Outreach Accelerator will allow Sibjan to develop the business management skills needed to run a financially sustainable enterprise and make strategic decisions, in order to increase his social impact.