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The Impact of Receiving Price and Climate Information in the Agricultural Sector

  • Adriana Camacho
  • Emily Conover

Previous studies indicate that Colombian farmers make production decisions based on informal sources of information, such as family and neighbors or tradition. In this paper we randomize recipients of price and weather information using text messages (SMS technology). We find that relative to those farmers who did not receive SMS information, the farmers who did were more likely to provide market price information, had a narrower dispersion in the expected price of their crops, and had a significant reduction in crop loss. Farmers also report that text messages provide useful information, especially in regards to sale prices. We do not find, however, a significant difference between the treated and untreated farmers in the actual sale price, nor changes in farmers’ revenues or household expenditures.

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Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 4720.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4720
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  1. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
  2. Beuermann, Diether W., 2011. "Telecommunications Technologies, Agricultural Profitability, and Child Labor in Rural Peru," Working Papers 2011-002, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  3. Robert Jensen, 2007. "The Digital Provide: Information (Technology), Market Performance, and Welfare in the South Indian Fisheries Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 879-924, 08.
  4. Santiago Montenegro & Álvaro Pedraza, 2009. "Falling Kidnapping Rates and the Expansion of Mobile Phones in Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006652, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  5. Jenny Aker, 2008. "Does Digital Divide or Provide? The Impact of Cell Phones on Grain Markets in Niger," Working Papers 154, Center for Global Development.
  6. Emily Oster & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Determinants of Technology Adoption: Private Value and Peer Effects in Menstrual Cup Take-Up," NBER Working Papers 14828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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