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The use of mobile phones by Kenyan export-orientated small-scale farmers: insights from fruit and vegetable farming in the Mt. Kenya region

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Dannenberg
  • Tobia Lakes

In recent years, mobile phones have become a common feature in business and society in Kenya and are increasingly used in farming. This is also the case for export-orientated small-scale farmers. The aim of this paper is to study the role of mobile phone use by Kenyan export-orientated small-scale fresh fruit and vegetable famers (ffv). We focus on farmers in the Mt. Kenya region using data from questionnaires and expert interviews. We identify four different types of exchange for which mobile phones are used by these farmers: 1. transactions, 2. information, 3. complex knowledge and 4. organization and networking. Our results suggest that the use of mobile phones can improve the farmers’ possibilities for payment, production, marketing, and knowledge transfer, and their competitiveness and integration in international value chains. However, so far the advantages are mostly limited to simple communication and payment; the broad introduction of new applications (with the exception of mobile payment) has not yet taken place.

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Article provided by FrancoAngeli Editore in its journal ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE.

Volume (Year): 15 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 55-75

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Handle: RePEc:fan:ecaqec:v:html10.3280/ecag2013-003005
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  1. C. Dolan & J. Humphrey, 2000. "Governance and Trade in Fresh Vegetables: The Impact of UK Supermarkets on the African Horticulture Industry," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(2), pages 147-176.
  2. Jenny Aker and Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Working Papers 211, Center for Global Development.
  3. Peter Dannenberg & Gilbert M. Nduru, 2013. "Practices In International Value Chains: The Case Of The Kenyan Fruit And Vegetable Chain Beyond The Exclusion Debate," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(1), pages 41-56, 02.
  4. Henson, Spencer & Loader, Rupert, 2001. "Barriers to Agricultural Exports from Developing Countries: The Role of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 85-102, January.
  5. Stefan Ouma, 2010. "Global Standards, Local Realities: Private Agrifood Governance and the Restructuring of the Kenyan Horticulture Industry," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 86(2), pages 197-222, 04.
  6. Jonathan Donner & Marcela X. Escobari, 2010. "A review of evidence on mobile use by micro and small enterprises in developing countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(5), pages 641-658.
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