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Paying for Digital Information: Assessing Farmers Willingness to Pay for a Digital Agriculture and Nutrition Service in Ghana


  • Palloni, G.
  • Aker, J.
  • Gilligan, D.
  • Hidrobo, M.
  • Ledlie, N.


With the widespread growth of mobile phone coverage and adoption over the past decade, there has been considerable enthusiasm over the use the ICTs in agricultural initiatives, primarily to disseminate information to farmers. This paper assesses farmers willingness to pay (WTP) for a newly introduced digital nutrition-sensitive agricultural information service in Ghana, called Vodafone Farmers Club (VFC). Using both an experimental game and administrative data, we find that the share of farmers willing-to-pay for VFC service is high at low prices and then decreases rapidly as the price increases; at 1.0 GHC, 85% would register for the service; at 2.0 GHC 50% would register; and at 3.0 GHC, just 19% would still be willing to participate. We experimentally vary both the framing around the introduction of VFC to emphasize either the platform s nutrition and agriculture information or the agriculture information alone and the gender of the household member invited to play the game and find that women have statistically lower WTP than men, but the framing has no impact on WTP. Acknowledgement : We would like to thank all individuals in Upper West and Central Region who agreed to take part in this research. We are particularly grateful to Lucy Billing for managing the project in Ghana, and to the ISSER team in Ghana, led by Simon Bawakyillenuo and Felix Asante. We would also like to extend our gratitude to Groupe Sp ciale Mobile Association (GSMA), Esoko, Vodafone Ghana, and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) teams for their cooperation and support. We are also extremely grateful for the ongoing collaborative partnership with The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the GAMOS team.

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  • Palloni, G. & Aker, J. & Gilligan, D. & Hidrobo, M. & Ledlie, N., 2018. "Paying for Digital Information: Assessing Farmers Willingness to Pay for a Digital Agriculture and Nutrition Service in Ghana," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277451, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:277451

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    1. Jakob Svensson & David Yanagizawa, 2009. "Getting Prices Right: The Impact of the Market Information Service in Uganda," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 435-445, 04-05.
    2. Alberto Chong & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2013. "Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 18776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Pierre Courtois & Julie Subervie, 2015. "Farmer Bargaining Power and Market Information Services," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 97(3), pages 953-977.
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