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Impact of SMS-Based Agricultural Information on Indian Farmers

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  • Marcel Fafchamps
  • Bart Minten

Abstract

This study estimates the benefits that Indian farmers derive from market and weather information delivered to their mobile phones by a commercial service called Reuters Market Light (RML). We conduct a controlled randomized experiment in 100 villages of Maharashtra. Treated farmers associate RML information with a number of decisions they have made, and we find some evidence that treatment affected spatial arbitrage and crop grading. But the magnitude of these effects is small. We find no statistically significant average effect of treatment on the price received by farmers, crop value-added, crop losses resulting from rainstorms, or the likelihood of changing crop varieties and cultivation practices. Although disappointing, these results are in line with the market take-up rate of the RML service in the study districts, which shows small numbers of clients in aggregate and a relative stagnation in take-up over the study period. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2012. "Impact of SMS-Based Agricultural Information on Indian Farmers," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 26(3), pages 383-414.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:26:y:2012:i:3:p:383-414
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/wber/lhr056
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    Cited by:

    1. Aker, Jenny C. & Ksoll, Christopher, 2016. "Can mobile phones improve agricultural outcomes? Evidence from a randomized experiment in Niger," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 44-51.
    2. Pierluigi Montalbano & Rebecca Pietrelli & Luca Salvatici, 2017. "Market chain participation and food security: the case of the Ugandan maize farmers," Working Papers 2/17, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
    3. repec:bla:rdevec:v:21:y:2017:i:4:p:e88-e106 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. David-Benz, Hélène & Andriandralambo, Norontsoa & Soanjara, Helgina & Chimirri, Chiara & Rahelizatovo, Noro & Rivolala, Bezaka, 2016. "Improving access to market information: a driver of change in marketing strategies for small producers?," 149th Seminar, October 27-28, 2016, Rennes, France 245073, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. repec:afe:journl:v:19:y:2017:i:1:p:161-167 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Tang, Christopher S. & Sodhi, ManMohan S. & Formentini, Marco, 2016. "An analysis of partially-guaranteed-price contracts between farmers and agri-food companies," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 254(3), pages 1063-1073.
    7. Lapinski, Maria Knight & Funk, Julie A. & Moccia, Lauren T., 2015. "Recommendations for the role of social science research in One Health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 51-60.
    8. Evita Pangaribowo & Nicolas Gerber & Pascal Tillie, 2013. "Assessing the FNS impacts of technological and institutional innovations and future innovation trends," FOODSECURE Working papers 11, LEI Wageningen UR.
    9. Van Campenhout, Bjorn, 2016. "Risk and Sustainable Crop Intensification," 2016 AAAE Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 246917, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    10. Abdul-Salam, Yakubu & Phimister, Euan, 2014. "Modelling the Impact of Market Imperfections on Farm Household Investment in Stand-Alone Solar PV," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 169742, Agricultural Economics Society.
    11. Nakasone, Eduardo, 2013. "The Role of Price Information in Agricultural Markets: Experimental Evidence from Rural Peru," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150418, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. ManMohan S. Sodhi & Christopher S. Tang, 2016. "Supply chain opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 43(2), pages 125-134, June.
    13. Arimoto, Yutaka & Kono, Hisaki & Ralandison, Tsilavo & Sakurai, Takeshi & Takahashi, Kazushi, 2015. "Understanding traders' regional arbitage : the case of rice traders in Antananarivo, Madagascar," IDE Discussion Papers 505, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO).
    14. Balram Avittathur & Jayanth Jayaram, 2016. "Supply chain management in emerging economies," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 43(2), pages 117-124, June.
    15. Kaila Heidi, 2015. "Comparing the development of agricultural technology and information technology in rural Vietnam," WIDER Working Paper Series 091, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Tadesse, Getaw & Bahiigwa, Godfrey, 2015. "Mobile Phones and Farmers’ Marketing Decisions in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 296-307.
    17. repec:eee:transa:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:61-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Shimamoto, Daichi & Yamada, Hiroyuki & Gummert, Martin, 2015. "Mobile phones and market information: Evidence from rural Cambodia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 135-141.
    19. Larochelle, Catherine & Alwang, Jeffrey & Travis, Elli, 2016. "Did you really get the message? Using text reminders to stimulate adoption of agricultural technologies," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235423, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Blumenstock, Joshua E. & Eagle, Nathan & Fafchamps, Marcel, 2016. "Airtime transfers and mobile communications: Evidence in the aftermath of natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 157-181.
    21. Sandip Mitra & Dilip Mookherjee & Maximo Torero & Sujata Visaria, 2013. "Asymmetric Information and Middleman Margins: An Experiment with West Bengal Potato Farmers," Working Papers id:5545, eSocialSciences.
    22. Mo, Di & Luo, Renfu & Liu, Chengfang & Zhang, Huiping & Zhang, Linxiu & Medina, Alexis & Rozelle, Scott, 2014. "Text Messaging and its Impacts on the Health and Education of the Poor: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 766-780.

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