The Promise & Pitfalls of ICT for Agriculture
MetadataShow full item record
In this talk, he will be talking of the research based on two experiments. The first one is about 'the effectiveness of "information only" interventions'. The authors examine the role of a very low-cost, "light-touch" information intervention, evaluating a mobile phone-based agricultural advice service provided to farmers in India. Demand for advice is high; and provision of advice dramatically changes farmers sources of agricultural information. They in turn observe modest but systematic changes in agricultural practices (analyzing indices of recommended seed, pesticides, fertilizers and irrigation practices) and, perhaps surprisingly, also find some evidence of increased yields in cumin and cotton. Information spreads, as non-treated farmers with more treated peers change practices and lose less to pest attacks. Though willingness to pay for the service is low, the value of the information externality exceeds the subsidy that would be necessary to operate the service. They estimate that each dollar spent on the service yields a $10 private return. The second experiment evaluates the prospects for individually-customized advice, using soil health card data. The Government of India has announced plans to deliver soil health cards to every farming family in India. The authors evaluate the quality of soil tests and comprehension levels of farmers. They then evaluate whether low-cost audio and video messages improve understanding of Soil Health Cards.
- R & P Seminar