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Improving farmer services by understanding their information needs

Improving farmer services by understanding their information needs

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Improving farmer services by understanding their information needs

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  1. Improving farmer services by understanding their information needs Nilusha Kapugama CPRsouth6 9 Dec 2011 Bangkok, Thailand This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Canada and the Department for International Development, UK and the ENRAP (Knowledge Networking for Rural Development in Asia Pacific) programme

  2. Agriculture in South Asia – lowest share of GDP but often highest share of labour • By 2009, the Agriculture sector’s contribution as a % share of the GDP was about 18% in South Asia (World Bank, 2011). • 75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas (WB, 2007) AGRICULTURE = LOW PRODUCTIVITY

  3. About the paper… The paper examines the information needs of growers in six stages of the crop cycle Ratnadiwakara et al, 2008 The data used: • Data from 3 South Asian countries from 2 non-representative surveys of growers and non growers • Insights from qualitative work conducted in 3 South Asian countries Decision stage Seeding stage Planting stage Growing stage Harvesting stage Selling stage

  4. Survey Information Research Objective- Understanding the use of ICTs and Information requirements of farmers (growers), collectors, traders and retailers (non-growers) • growers are: • owner farmer / leased farmer / agricultural worker • the main decision maker regarding farming activities • selling some part of his crops to generate the income • working on less than 5 acres • non-growers are: • Trader / Commission agent / Collector / Retailer of agricultural food crops • Belonging to SEC C, D, E households • Owners of a micro enterprise with 0 – 9 employees

  5. Top 3 information needs of growers at each stage

  6. Information needs differ across stages…

  7. Growers are looking for non growers…

  8. …and non-growers are looking for growers

  9. Information needs differ… • Growers want information on fertiliser (costs, sources • Growers are looking for non growers and vice versa • Growers seek localised information be it prices or weather

  10. Price info is sought… but not all the time Top 3 information needs Bottom 3 information needs

  11. Key takeaways • Growers looking for non-growers: • Establishment of electronic or mobile classifieds with reputational ranking • Information requirements differ across stages: • Set up systems that are pull systems as opposed to push • Encourage “small-recharge” prepaid models for information services • Highest information need is fertilser: • Provide information to farmers about the proper methods of using fertilser • Re-think more efficient methods of delivery of fertilser subsidies