Thursday, August 28, 2008

SMS way to cheaper food

Italians can get to know where to get their favorite pasta, a few lira less thanks to the Italian government's plan to start an SMS service that would do just that - it would tell where cheap food is available ( post). This scheme has apparently come to the table for helping people meet their needs during the current inflationary climate.

If this move succeeds well, people will not only be informed of food sources, but food businesses might also take it up as a channel to increase their revenues by offering competitive prices. I would really like to follow this experiment to see how technology aids populist measures. Such radical measures are relevant to developing countries with increasing wireless penetration like India.

In the Indian context, ITC has a successful program called echoupal aimed at rural agriculturists which helps them get the best price for their produce. I have also known of the use of mobile phones by fishermen from Kerala to get a price arbitrage for their catch. The readers of this post are welcome to share any initiatives that wed technology to people measures.


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