access to information

Connected Agriculture: The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain

Posted by EKStallings on Oct 25, 2011
Connected Agriculture: The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain data sheet 849 Views
Kirk, Matthew, Julie Steele, Christèle Delbé, Laura Crow, Steven Yurisich, Barry Nee, Gareth Weir, Kathryn Brownlie, Oliver Grange
Publication Date: 
Oct 2011
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

This report focuses on the opportunity to improve agricultural productivity using mobile services, highlighting the opportunity to bring new investment to a key group: smallholder farmers. Mobile telephony could have significant potential to help the poorest farmers towards greater food and income security.

Only in recent years that mobile communications technology has been widely accepted as an enabler of sustainable growth. In developing markets, where the deployment of mobile telecommunications networks has surpassed traditional fixed-line technology, the mobile telecoms industry is well-placed as an enabler of higher performance in the value chain. There is a distinct need for market-led opportunities, and the opportunity for mobile operators to deliver these is significant.

The mobile services studied here enable companies to access and interact directly with different participants in the value chain, helping to build visibility of issues, capacity and quality. They will support company sustainability objectives, and in particular, progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals by helping to reduce poverty, improve health and increase funding for education.

This report aims to stimulate the necessary engagement between mobile operators, governments, NGOs and businesses to realize these opportunities and explore others.


India: The Impact of Mobile Phones (ICRIER Report)

Posted by rmlonline on Dec 13, 2010
India: The Impact of Mobile Phones (ICRIER Report) data sheet 2394 Views
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Journal article

Research carried out by International Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER). The ICRIER researchers looked at three segments of the population – the agriculture sector, the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector and urban slum dwellers. The research demonstrates that access to telecommunications is an important catalyst to realizing productivity and efficiency improvements and thereby making it possible for the benefits of economic growth. The research in this report on the uses and impacts of mobiles in agriculture show that improving productivity and rural incomes requires an array of enablers in the production cycle, which runs from planting to the final sale of produce; access to information is an important enabler.

The lack of adequate infrastructure is particularly acute in rural areas, home to 70% of India’s population and the 52% of the work force that is primarily engaged in agriculture and related activities. Agriculture in India accounts for 18% of national income, implying extremely low agricultural productivity. Until now, the focus of mobile operators’ attention has been on the more lucrative urban markets. The high cost of infrastructure rollout in less dense rural areas and affordability barriers for the rural population are likely reasons. But there are signs that this is changing. Infrastructure rollout in rural areas is now eligible for subsidy and all major providers have reported future plans for expansion in rural India.

Small farmers often struggle to access high-quality inputs such as advanced seed varieties, or services such as soil testing or credit, fertilizers, availability of loan options and efficient distribution networks and weather forecast. Therefore a very uneven access to information is seen currently. A national survey of farmers found that only 40% of farmer households accessed information about modern agricultural techniques and inputs while a lot of them still depend on other progressive farmers.