Saturday, November 17, 2007

How cell phones can improve fishing

A study conducted by two students from Upsalla University, Sweden, in collaboration with the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), has concluded that the use of mobile phones has improved the livelihood of fishermen in Tanzania, reports All Africa.

-- According to the study, the fishermen, used to spending long hours away from family and friends now find it easier to stay in touch as they venture into the sea.

-- The researchers say that the fishermen call their friends already at sea for the weather forecast and no longer rely on the Meteorological Department which in most cases is inaccurate.

-- The fisherfolk also communicate with one another, giving tips on where to get the best catch.

-- Mobile phones also come in handy during cases of emergency. Now fishermen can simply dial the emergency numbers on their cell phones or simply call their friends.

-- Most of all, fishermen are now using mobile phones to gather market information and co-ordinate pickup for their catch, known to be a highly perishable commodity.

-- Customers willing to buy fish simply call the fishermen to place their orders. With this empowerment, the supply chain has now improved.

But it has not been smooth sailing either. Loss of a phone consequently means loss of business. The researchers also suggest that number portability, which allows subscribers to retain their phone numbers across the networks, could alleviate this problem."
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