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Impact of Mobile Phone Technology on Agriculture and Rural Development: An Analysis

Author: 
Dr. Paul Mansingh, J. and Mr. Fikadu Abdese Erena
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Mobile delivery of extension information is an idea whose time has come, as this represents the most cost-effective and widespread interactive delivery medium. Communication through mobile phones is not a replacement of traditional communication tools, but compliments and facilitates the process of dissemination. Mobile phone usage by farmers can reduce the information search costs, thereby dramatically lowering transaction costs and enabling greater farmer participation in commercial agriculture. It is very much imperative to know the impact of mobile phone technology in the field of agriculture and rural development. This knowledge will help to redesign the existing transfer of technology programmes in such a way by utilising the mobile Phone technology so that the knowledge will be disseminated in an efficient and better way. The research design employed was ‘Secondary data analysis’ which is an analysis of data that has previously been collected and tabulated by other sources. Various research studies, project reports and conference proceedings were analysed to document the impact of mobile Phone technology in agriculture and rural development. To be included in the review, projects had to be specifically focused on mobile phones. To fit in the protocol, projects had to offer sufficient details around the use of mobiles to illuminate their role in the development processes. The impact of mobile Phone technology was analysed in the following fields: Agriculture, Rural Health, Rural Finance, Rural Development, Education and Natural Disaster Management. The impact was visible in all the fields analysed and therefore, it is more important to communicate the information needed by the local communities in a way they can grasp and act upon. Mobile Phone technology will unlock enormous benefits for the agricultural and rural development sector, particularly in the developing world.

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